Report: Violence Towards Religious Communities in Pakistan
By United States Commission on International Religious Freedom
The Religious Violence Project, an undertaking of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, has tracked publicly-reported attacks against religious communities in Pakistan over the past 30 months. The latest report covers the period from July 2013 to June 2014, during which 122 incidents of sectarian violence resulted in more than 1,200 casualties, including 430 deaths. While the number of attacks are slightly down from the previous year, they remain alarmingly high. The violence impacted both Muslim and non-Muslim religious communities, threatening Pakistan’s stability.
Today marks the launch of the GMA blog, which will provide a space for dialogue about the human rights issues facing communities across the world. And 21st May is very fitting for this, as to day is the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. As Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, explains:
“Our cultural diversity is a stimulator of creativity. Investing in this creativity can transform societies. It is our responsibility to develop education and intercultural skills in young people to sustain the diversity of our world and to learn to live together in the diversity of our languages, cultures and religions, to bring about change.”
According to the UN, three-quarters of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension, which is why events to promote dialogue and understanding are essential to enable us to learn to live together in harmony.