The tragic stories that have recently been in the news in places like Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Congo, Sudan, Nepal, Honduras, and Mynamar, to name a few all have one thing in common. All have significant abuses of human rights.
At the same time human rights have been a concern of many faith communities and the United Nations since its founding over 60 years ago.
It is time that faith communities join others in strongly supporting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
To that end Global Healing has forwarded the following resolution to the United Religions Initiative for their consideration.
Your comments on this document are appreciated.
A Call to the United Religions Initiative
individual Cooperation Circles
the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Whereas: As early as 1943, O. Fredrick Nolde executive director of the Federal Council of Churches (which later became the National Council of Churches U.S.A.) began the effort to include human rights in the U.N. Charter, and;
Whereas: Nolde’s efforts were strongly supported by the Jewish representative Judge Proskauer and;
Whereas: François Refoulé writes that Pope Paul VI wanted to make the Universal Declaration of Human Rights "the corner-stone of all his work." For Pope Paul VI, the Universal Declaration was "the path that must not be abandoned if mankind today sincerely wants to consolidate peace"; and he never lost an opportunity to express his "complete moral support for the common ideal contained in the Universal Declaration, and;
Whereas: Pope John XXIII proposed, the Universal Declaration is a sign of a new world community in which the religious traditions will find common ground for resolutely resisting the dehumanizing forces of this age. In opposition to the blatant violation of human rights everywhere in the world, perhaps the faithful of all religious traditions will join together to do the will of God for the sake of all humanity, and;
Whereas: Muslim Riffat Hassan describes as "truly remarkable" the passage of the Universal Declaration by the United Nations and suggests that though it is "secular" in terminology it is more "religious" in essence than many "fatwas" given by Islamic authorities.’ and:
Whereas: On the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Lambeth Conference of all active Anglican Bishops stated; “On the fiftieth anniversary of its proclamation in December of 1948, this Conference: a) resolves that its members urge compliance with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the nations in which our various member Churches are located, and all others over whom we may exercise any influence;...: and;
Whereas: On the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Human Rights religious leaders representing every major religion of the world issued a statement saying in part “On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we pronounce and confirm that our religions recognize and support the human rights and fundamental freedoms of every human person, alone or in community with others.
We recognize our responsibility towards our believers and to the world at large and reaffirm our intention to take all necessary steps both within our communities and in cooperation with others to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms for each and every person, irrespective of religion or belief.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights celebrates the dignity of the human person, irrespective of religion, race, sex or other distinctions.
We wish to emphasize the importance of two of its principles: that every person enjoys the freedom of thought, conscience and religion, and that no one should be discriminated against on the basis of religion or belief.
The rights, freedoms and obligations laid down in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are recognized all over the world. Nevertheless, they are not fully accepted everywhere. We observe tensions with regard to a number of specific rights, such as the freedom of religion or belief, the principle of equality and the prohibition of torture. We wish to state clearly that the Declaration should not be regarded as a "pick-and-choose" list”; and;
Whereas: Global Healing co-facilitator Dr. Noel J. Brown in past remarks to the interfaith community stated “We would also like to suggest other challenges that you in the religion and faith community might help us with. The first is a new vision, and supporting institutions, to help us move through this transition. We in the United Nations cannot hope to solve the problems of the future with only the institutions and the mentality of the past. We need a vision that encompasses all human rights to freedom, equality and conditions of life; and an environment that promises life, dignity and well-being. We need also a new legitimacy, a new ethic, and new metaphors.”;
Therefore be it resolved: That the Global Healing CC calls upon the United Religions Initiative Global Council and its individual Cooperation Circles to endorse the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and;
Be it Further Resolved that the United Religions Initiative and all its members be encouraged to work to the full acceptance and implementation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights around the world.
submitted by the Global Healing CC
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Listen To the Story
Pakistan has had 27 blasphemy cases filed so far this year, a figure that alarms human rights groups, who say the law is frequently used to persecute religious minorities.
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