Proposed Resolution of 8th World Congress (draft)

Proposed Resolution of 8th World Congress (draft)
 

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Having attended The International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA) in its Eighth World Congress, August 24, 2017, in Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood, Florida, I thought to share with you the summary draft resolution as a result of the congress. Feel free to pass on to your members.
 

Official Statement:
 
"The proposal Congress participants recognized that concerns such as in the areas of safety, security, or other competing rights or interests are often invoked in a way that unduly limits freedom of religion and belief. Too often these interests can be used as a pretext to discriminate against disfavored religious groups or individuals.  It was agreed that greater focus needs to be paid to balancing these needs and avoiding stereotypes regarding any religion. 
 
"Concern was also expressed that religion has often been coopted for destructive purposes.  This instrumentalization of religion tends to undermine the legitimacy of and support for freedom of religion and belief.  Congress participants discussed methods by which to reduce incidents of such misuse of religion.
 
"Consequently, Through this Resolution, the Eighth IRLA World Congress:
 
"1.Calls upon the nations of the world to promote actively the principles of freedom of religion or belief as elaborated in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the body of related international and regional human rights instruments through their constitutions, laws, and through practical implementation of these globally shared ideals.
 
"2.Calls upon the people of the world to reacquaint themselves with the foundational human rights documents and first principles in order to emphasize the importance of freedom of religion or belief in the broader constellation of rights.
 
"3.Encourages clergy, educators, and others--in addition to legal experts -- to emphasize and teach that freedom of religion or belief is, both an important legal right, and a crucial societal value that is to be protected in all aspects of civic life.   
 
"4.Requests the IRLA to continue to identify concrete ways for individuals and its local chapters to engage in religious freedom advocacy, ensuring that such advocacy is sensitive to both context and situation.
 
"5.Encourages national and international actors to avoid stereotyping of any groups or individuals based on prejudices, preconceptions, or assumptions.
 
"6.Recognizes that while violence is sometimes perpetrated in the name of religion, such violence should be countered by punishing those directly responsible, and should not be used as an excuse to oppress wider religious communities with which the perpetrators assert ties; blaming an entire community for the actions of a few strengthens and emboldens those who perpetuate violence in the name of religion. 
 
"7.Encourages religious and other leaders to recognize the danger of religion being hijacked and misused for non-religious goals, and encourages religious leaders and believers to take steps to prevent this happening within their own communities. 
 
"8.Authorizes the broad distribution of this resolution to international institutions, religious and civil society organizations, and to supporters of freedom of religion or belief worldwide.
 
"ADOPTED BY CONSENSUS OF THOSE ATTENDING THE EIGHTH WORLD CONGRESS OF THE INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS LIBERTY ASSOCIATION IN HOLLYWOOD, FLORIDA ON AUGUST 24, 2017."