International Day of Remembrance for Victims of Religious Violence

International Day of Remembrance for Victims of Religious Violence

This is also a Day established by the UN Assembly in May 2019 at the proposal of Poland, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Nigeria and Pakistan in accordance with the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in particular the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. In addition to strongly condemning all acts of violence against people, the UN also points its finger at attacks on homes, businesses, schools or cultural centres that can be traced back to a religious community, such as against places of worship, religious sites and shrines.


The UN Assembly emphasises the responsibilities of Heads of Government in promoting and protecting the human rights of persons belonging to religious minorities, including the right to practise or manifest their beliefs in complete freedom, and stresses the importance of comprehensive preventive action at the local level, involving a wide range of parties, including civil society and religious communities.

The European Parliament, moreover, has recently expressed ‘deep concern at the high levels of coercion, discrimination, harassment, violence and repression against persons belonging to religious minorities or beliefs as a global phenomenon that is intensifying in some regions; notes that this phenomenon affects many religious communities such as Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism among other religions, as well as groups of people who profess to be atheist, humanist or agnostic, or who do not identify with any religion or belief. ”

We, the Good Shepherd, recognise in the value guidelines of the United Nations and in the concerns of the European Parliament the need for protection of the right to religious freedom, and we believe that to pay tribute to those who have lost their lives and to those who are victims of aggression, threats and persecution because of their religion or belief, is, in our daily lives, to put into practice a way of thinking and acting that is open to the other, that is not oppressive and or destructive of any living being and particularly of human beings, in the style of Jesus.