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Faith Leaders Human Rights Concerns

By Charlotte Robinson, July 21, 2020
More than 30 faith leaders have signed a statement expressing serious concerns about a draft report on human rights issued by the U.S. State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights. Catholic, Evangelical, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh & Buddhist religious leaders as well as former State Department officials have warned that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s effort to elevate religious freedom & property rights above other human rights will weaken religious freedom itself & undermine the protections for the universal values of human dignity. Faith Leaders on the U.S. State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights stated, “We believe strongly that every person is entitled to enjoy the right to freedom of conscience & belief. We also believe that freedom of religion must never be used as a pretext to diminish other rights we hold dear, nor to justify infringing upon those other universal human rights. Freedom of religion is equally & inextricably linked with all the other interconnected rights that enable humans to live in dignity. Without the rights to peaceful assembly, freedom of speech, freedom from violence & freedom from discrimination in access to basic needs, education, employment, or health & the right to participate in all social practices, freedom of religion would be hollow. Human rights are mutually reinforcing; none is subordinate to another, nor should anyone be denied these rights because of who they are or whom they love…We know from Secretary Pompeo’s repeated comments, including at Thursday’s public presentation of the report, that he will seek to use the Commission’s report to justify marginalizing certain rights, thus diminishing human rights advocacy & stifling demands for accountability for those whose rights have been violated.”
Read Full Statement…
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