World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN Expert On Freedom Of Religion

Manifestations Of Collective Hatred Do Not ‘Erupt’ Like A Volcano – UN Expert On Freedom Of Religion

GENEVA (11 March 2014) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, today urged States to promote and protect everyone’s right of freedom of religion or belief, in order to tackle the growing problem of collective religious hatred in the world.

“Manifestations of collective hatred do not ‘erupt’ like a volcano, but they are caused by human beings, whose actions or omissions can set in motion a seemingly unstoppable negative dynamic in societies, which seems to be comparable to that caused by a natural catastrophe,” Mr. Bielefeldt said during the presentation of his latest report* to the UN Human Rights Council.

The human rights expert warned that feelings of collective religious hatred are often caused by a combination of fear and contempt which can trigger a vicious cycle of mistrust, narrow-mindedness and collective hysteria, and called on States to “take an active role in trust-building through public institutions as a trust-worthy guarantor of freedom of religion or belief for everyone.”

In his report, the expert identifies a number of key aggravating political factors behind the expressions of religious hatred, such as endemic corruption which typically undermines reasonable trust in public institutions, and an authoritarian political atmosphere that stifles free and frank public debate and creates a “mentality of suspicion.

He drew special attention to the use of religion for the purposes of national identity politics, “which typically leads to the marginalization and misrepresentation of religious minorities, often disproportionally affecting women from minorities.”

“Dissolving any exclusivist arrangements in the State’s relation to religions or beliefs and overcoming all forms of instrumentalization of religion for the purposes of national identity politics serves as a precondition for providing an open, inclusive framework in which religious or belief-related pluralism can unfold freely and without discrimination,” Mr. Bielefeldt stressed.

The Special Rapporteur urged States to ensure effective trust building activities, including establishing trustworthy public institutions and promoting meaningful communication, in particular between different religious or belief communities.

As a positive example of a culture of religious or belief-related pluralism, the expert mentioned his first-hand experience during his recent country visit to Sierra Leone, where the Interreligious Council has become a key factor in a re-united country that until a decade ago had been torn by civil war.

“I found the open and amicable climate of interreligious cooperation in Sierra Leone – which not only includes Muslims and Christians but also intra-religious groups, such as Sunnis, Ahamdis, Shias, Catholics, Anglicans and Evangelicals – quite remarkable,” Mr. Beilefeldt said.

(*) Read the Special Rapporteur’s report on tackling manifestations of collective religious hatred:http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/RegularSessions/Session25/Pages/ListReports.aspx

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Signs Of Ebola Decline In Liberia Offer ‘Glimmer Of Hope’

Equipped with UNICEF-developed and Government-approved awareness materials, these girls go door-to-door in West Point, Monrovia, to educate their parents, family members and friends about Ebola and how it can be prevented. Photo: UNICEF/UNI171713/Griggers More>>

ALSO:

Allegations Of Misreporting By Joint Darfur Mission

Ban ‘Deeply Troubled’ by Findings of Review of Allegations of Misreporting by Joint Darfur Mission More>>

Status Quo Not Viable Option’ In Jerusalem

Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman briefs the Security Council at its meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe More>>

ALSO:

  • ITUC - Israel’s Settlement Expansion is an Outrage
  • World News: No To TPP Trade-Offs

    No to TPP Trade-Offs, Say Public Health, Fair Trade Activists at Sydney TPP Ministers’ Meeting More>>

    ALSO:

  • AFTINET - Fair Trade Group Calls for Release of TPP Text
  • Al Jazeera Interpol Rejects Egypt Request For Red Notice On Journalist

    Interpol, the international organisation for police cooperation, has rejected a request from Egypt to issue one of its red notices against Ahmed Mansour, an Al Jazeera journalist. More>>

    UN-Backed Study: Fruit Flies To Prompt Better Pest Controls

    Bactrocera dorsalis is causing “incalculable damage to horticultural industries and food security” across a swathe of countries in Asia, Africa, the Pacific and parts of South America. Photo: IAEA/Viwat Wornoayporn More>>


    ‘The Only Way To Stop Ebola Is At Its Source’ – UN Chief

    Girls in the city of Voinjama look at a poster that displays information and illustrations about how to prevent the spread of Ebola. Photo: UNICEF/2014/Liberia/Jallanzo More>>

    ALSO:

  • Christian World Service - CWS appeals for help to Stop Ebola
  • UN: Multi-Billion Dollar Horn Of Africa Pledge

    UN’s Ban, Global Leaders Join Forces in Multi-Billion Dollar Horn of Africa Pledge More>>


     
     
     
     
     
    World
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news