General Article Five reasons the world needs a wake-up call on religious persecution

Topic Selected: Religion Book Volume: 358
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Ewelina Ochab, University of Kent

All over the world, people – and whole communities – are suffering from persecution purely because of their religion or beliefs. This kind of violence – including attempts to annihilate whole religious groups – is on the rise.

In the past five years alone, there have been two mass atrocities which meet the United Nations’ legal definition of genocide.

So on August 22 – a day specially established by the United Nations to help raise awareness of this discrimination and abuse – shines a light on those dark corners where acts of violence based on religion or belief are a daily reality.

1) Daesh’s reign of terror

In 2014, Daesh (Islamic State, ISIS, ISIL) attacked religious Yazidi and Christian minority groups in Iraq in an attempt to destroy them and establish a purely Islamic state. Daesh’s campaign of terror involved murder, kidnapping, people trafficking, rape, sexual slavery and the destruction of cultural heritage. All this because the victims bel...

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