Protecting Religious Sites

The Appeal of Conscience Foundation and its founder, Rabbi Arthur Schneier applaud the passage by the United Nations General Assembly of a resolution that protects and preserves religious sites and cultural heritage around the world.

Joined by a diverse group of religious leaders, the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, led a nearly decade-long educational initiative for the protection and preservations of religious sites around the world. The adoption of the UN Resolution for the "Protection of Religious Sites" condemns all threats and acts of violence against religious sites and calls upon governments to exert their utmost efforts to protect and preserve such sites.

"Religious sites are part of the precious heritage of humanity. It is significant that this Resolution was adopted in the year 2001, designated by the United Nations as the Year for Dialogue Among Civilizations," said Rabbi Schneier.

Rabbi Schneier continued, "An essential prerequisite of dialogue is respect for places of worship that are sacred to all faiths. Churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and shrines are an integral part of our culture and civilization. Today, the United Nations took a step to help restore faith in humanity."

In December 2000, an Appeal of Conscience Foundation delegation met with the President of the General Assembly, Harri Holkeri, and presented him with an appeal to STOP THE DESECRATION OF HOLY SITES. Earlier today, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, met with some of the signatories of the appeal, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church, Imam Mohammad Mostafa Ibrahim Jumeiah, Director of Religious and Cultural Affairs of the Islamic Center of New York as well as His Excellency Archbishop Renato R. Martino, Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer, Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to U.N. and ACF Trustee Reverence Dr. Fred Anderson of the Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church. They presented the Secretary General with a copy of the Appeal of Conscience appeal to STOP THE DESECRATION OF HOLY SITES and thanked him for his efforts on behalf of peace, religious freedom and tolerance.

The Appeal of Conscience Foundation delegation at the UN General Assembly meeting also included the Very Reverend Papken Anoushian who will be representing His Eminence Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, and a representative of His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick of the Washington D.C. Diocese, both signatories of the Foundation's appeal.

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