August 26, 2019 | From the Washington Times
A recent bombing at an Afghan wedding and near-daily attacks on churches in Northern Ireland have contributed to one of the deadliest years for religious folk in recent memory.
U.S. officials say it’s not an abstract human rights issue but a foreign policy concern for the nation.
“Advancing religious freedom is a foreign policy priority for this administration, and we remain committed to promoting and protecting religious freedom for all groups,” a staffer for Sam Brownback, U.S. ambassador at large for international religious freedom, said Thursday.
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Attacks on people of faith this year have shattered families, devastated ceremonies and terrorized communities, leaving a bloody trail of tears and heartbreak. . . .
The violence, reminiscent of the darkest days of the 20th century, has alarmed world leaders.
The United Nations on Thursday observed an International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief, established with a Security Council vote in May. The text of the resolution did not name any single attack but said all attacks on “religious minorities” have an “international characteristic.”
“It is an issue that affects communities around the world, from Uighur and Falun Gong in China to Jews in Tunisia and Argentina to Christians in Iraq and Syria to humanists in Bangladesh,” said a social media post by Katharine Thane, senior researcher and policy adviser to the U.N. special rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief. “Freedom of religion or belief is a very fundamental human right and it cuts to the very core of who we are people as humans.”
A seminar on religious freedom hosted this summer by the State Department and Mr. Brownback highlighted the worldwide concerns of violence against people of faith. (Excerpt from The Washington Times.)