WASHINGTON, DC – On the first “International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief,” declared by the United Nations General Assembly for August 22nd to condemn continuing violence and acts of terrorism targeting individuals, including persons belonging to religious minorities, on the basis of or in the name of religion or belief, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Chair Tony Perkins and Vice Chair Gayle Manchin issued the following statement:
“Commemorating victims of violence based on religion or belief is critical, but that’s only the beginning of the world’s work to achieve justice for the survivors of past tragedies, like the genocide of Yazidis, Christians and Shi’a Muslims in Iraq by ISIS,” said Perkins. “We must also recognize and work together to halt the continuing ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims and Christians in Burma and violence against Christians in Nigeria by Boko Haram.”
“On this historic day, we must demand accountability, not only to serve the immediate needs and the long-term healing of these victims of violence, but to demonstrate to tyrants and terrorist alike that the international community will truly ‘never again’ tolerate genocide or other atrocities,” said Manchin.
USCIRF’s 2019 Annual Report documents acts of violence based on religion or belief that amount to mass atrocities occurring around the globe, including in North Korea, Central African Republic and Syria.