UNAOC launches global call to action #forSafeWorship to protect religious sites and worshippers

NEW YORK — The High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Mr. Miguel Ángel Moratinos, launched a global call to action #forSafeWorship to safeguard religious sites and worshipers around the world. The announcement was made on 29 September during the high-level meeting of the Group of Friends of UNAOC on the margins of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly.

Over the past decade, the world has witnessed a surge in attacks against religious sites and worshippers. With more than eighty percent of the global population identifying with a religious group, creative responses are needed to reaffirm the basic tenets of humanity and solidarity across religions and faiths worldwide.

Launched in September 2019 by the UN Secretary-General and developed by UNAOC, the UN Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites, provides an action-oriented framework with recommendations to support relevant stakeholders, including Member States, religious leaders, civil society organizations, the news media, and social media platforms, in preventing attacks against places of worship and strengthening preparedness and response.

One of the recommendations of the Plan of Action is the launch and implementation of a Global Communications Campaign to foster mutual respect, understanding, unity, and solidarity to counteract attempts to sow hatred and division. UNAOC just launched the campaign #forSafeWorship today, with a focus on engaging the global youth and faith communities in taking concrete actions to contribute to the implementation of the Plan of Action.

“With the current pandemic, it is time for solidarity, not divisiveness. Compassion, not xenophobia. Kindness, not hatred,” said Mr. Moratinos. “The global call to action #forSafeWorship will be very powerful to bring us together.”

The global call to action #forSafeWorship aims to create personal, emotional connections with religious sites. It celebrates the universality of religious sites as symbols of our shared humanity, history, and traditions of people worldwide. It emphasizes the need to safeguard religious sites and underscores the role of individuals in protecting all sacred sites, regardless of religions or beliefs.

UNAOC now invites people around the world to participate actively in the campaign by submitting multimedia stories about their relationships to religious sites. The call to action #forSafeWorship aims to cultivate spaces and narratives that foster unity and solidarity.

For more information, visit SafeguardReligiousSites.UNAOC.org and follow @forSafeWorship and #forSafeWorship on social media.

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Thibault Chareton
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