UN / RELIGIOUS MINORITIES IN CONFLICTS

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22-Aug-2019 00:02:29
"State of religious freedom worldwide is alarming,” Poland's Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz told reporters in New York today, following a Security Council meeting on safety and security of religious minorities in armed conflict. UNIFEED

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STORY: UN / RELIGIOUS MINORITIES IN CONFLICTS
TRT: 2:29
SOURCE: UNIFEED
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LANGUAGE: ENGLISH /NATS

DATELINE: 22 AUGUST 2019, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE

1. Wide shot, exterior of UN Headquarters

22 AUGUST 2019, NEW YORK CITY

2. Pan left, ministers arriving at stakeout
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Jacek Czaputowicz, Foreign Minister of Poland:
“Promotion of religious freedom and protection of people belonging to religious minorities constitute one of the priorities of Polish foreign policy. In the face of growing threats of terrorists and extremists, mutual understanding and cooperation among ethnic, cultural and religious groups is more important than ever. State of religious freedom worldwide is alarming, is very bad. It is estimated that one third of the world’s population suffer some form of religious persecution, with Christians being the most persecuted group.”
4. Med shot, ministers at the stakeout
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Lord Tariq Mahmood Ahmad of Wimbledon, Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief, United Kingdom:
“Freedom of religion or belief is an inherent human right. When we look around the world, conflicts besiege us. And quite often when conflict takes place, it is an unfortunate consequence, but we see the reality of it, that religious communities, faith communities are suppressed – particularly minority communities.”
6. Zoom in, Brownback going to podium
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Samuel Brownback, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, United States:
“The state of religious freedom around the world is bad and it is getting worse. According to Pew research, 83 percent of the global community lives in a restrictive religious environment, that is, they cannot practice their faith freely. We find in some places around the world a horrific level of violence towards, particularly, religious minorities.”
8. Zoom in, Brownback going to podium
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Samuel Brownback, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, United States:
“The Uighur situation is well documented by the international press, we’re seeing the situation of particularly the house church movement but not exclusively that. A number of churches are being torn down, people, pastors thrown in jail, but it doesn’t stop there. It also includes Tibetan Buddhism that has been persecuted for decades now and it continues to be. And the Falun Gong spiritual movement – many have been arrested. I think it is really something important for China step up and to actually follow their constitution and the UN Declaration of Human Rights and provide for religious freedom.”
10. Pan right, ministers leaving

STORYLINE:

Marking the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief, observed 22 August, the UN Security Council held an open Arria-formula meeting titled “Advancing the safety and security of persons belonging to religious minorities in armed conflict”

The meeting was organized by Poland in partnership with the UK and the US and non-Council members Brazil, Canada, and Jordan.

Following the meeting, representatives of Poland, UK and the US spoke to reporters at the Security Council stakeout.

Foreign Minister of Poland Jacek Czaputowicz said “promotion of religious freedom and protection of people belonging to religious minorities constitute one of the priorities of Polish foreign policy,” and added that “in the face of growing threats of terrorists and extremists, mutual understanding and cooperation among ethnic, cultural and religious groups is more important than ever.”

He also said, “state of religious freedom worldwide is alarming, is very bad” and added “it is estimated that one third of the world’s population suffer some form of religious persecution, with Christians being the most persecuted group.”

The UK Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief Lord Tariq Mahmood Ahmad of Wimbledon said “freedom of religion or belief is an inherent human right. When we look around the world, conflicts besiege us. And quite often when conflict takes place, it is an unfortunate consequence, but we see the reality of it, that religious communities, faith communities are suppressed – particularly minority communities.”

Stating a Pew research which reportedly found that some 83 percent of the global community lives in a restrictive religious environment, the US Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Samuel Brownback said “we find in some places around the world a horrific level of violence towards, particularly, religious minorities.”

Answering a question on the state of religious minorities in China, Brownback said he thinks “it is really something important for China step up and to actually follow their constitution and the UN Declaration of Human Rights and provide for religious freedom.”

“The Uighur situation is well documented by the international press, we’re seeing the situation of particularly the house church movement but not exclusively that. A number of churches are being torn down, people, pastors thrown in jail, but it doesn’t stop there. It also includes Tibetan Buddhism that has been persecuted for decades now and it continues to be. And the Falun Gong spiritual movement – many have been arrested,” said Brownback.

In May 2019, the General Assembly, in its resolution designated 22 August as the International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief recognizing the importance of providing victims of acts of violence based on religion or belief and members of their families with appropriate support and assistance in accordance with applicable law.
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