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What We Do

United Against Violence in the Name of Religion

Violence committed in the name of religion threatens the survival of religious minorities, the social and religious fabric of relations between religious communities, as well as religious institutions and communities.

In this groundbreaking initiative, launched in November 2014, KAICIID is working with Christian, Muslim and other minority religious communities from Iraq, Syria and the larger Middle East region to denounce violence in the name of religion. UVNR calls on the international community to protect religious and cultural diversity in Iraq and Syria.

Under the UVNR initiative, KAICIID is undertaking a number of activities with a range of partners, including UNESCO, UNDP the UN Office for the Prevention of Genocide and ISESCO, as well as various NGOs.

Explore this page to learn more about KAICIID UVNR events in Beirut, Paris, Athens and Amman.

 

Vienna Declaration

In an unprecedented demonstration of multi-religious solidarity, leaders of Christian, Muslim and other religious communities from Iraq, Syria and the larger Middle East region meeting at the KAICIID Conference "United Against Violence in the Name of Religion" on 19 November 2014 denounced with one voice all violence in the name of religion, and have called on the international community to protect religious and cultural diversity in Iraq and Syria. Religious leaders from Sunni, Shiite, Christian, Mandean, and Yazidi communities across the Middle East jointly issued the Vienna Declaration, "United against Violence in the Name of Religion", at the international conference organized by the KAICIID Dialogue Centre. This is the first time religious leaders representing so many different religions from a crisis region have come together as one to denounce oppression, marginalization, persecution and killing of people in the name of religion.
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Projects

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The groundbreaking United Against Violence in the Name or Religion, or Religions Unite, initiative was launched in Vienna in November 2014 to denounce violence in the name of religion. Under UVNR, KAICIID is working with high-level level representatives of five world religions, as well as Christian, Muslim and other minority religious communities In Iraq, Syria and the Middle East. This includes representatives of the Armenian Orthodox Church, the Council of Senior Scholars from Saudi Arabia, the Iraqi Muslim Association, the Mouwahiddoun Druze, the Yazidis, Evangelicals, Maronites, Melkite Greek Catholics and Protestant communities, among many others. Together, UVNR stakeholders engage the international community to support conditions for living together and to strengthen common citizenship for all religious and ethnic groups in the region. Under the UVNR initiative, KAICIID is undertaking activities with a range of partners, including UNESCO, UNDP, the UN Office for the Prevention of Genocide and ISESCO, as well as various NGOs.
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At a meeting in the Lebanese capital, KAICIID brought together Islamic and Christian religious leaders from Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon in addition to representatives from the Yazidi community in Iraq.In its role as an international organization facilitating interreligious dialogue to build peace, KAICIID involved religious leaders, leading policymakers from governments, international organizations, humanitarian and peace organizations active in the region. The meeting served both as a working meeting and as an opportunity to present a united front against violence. The participants were representing the religious institutions and communities who met in Vienna, Austria at the international conference, “United Against Violence in the Name of Religion: Supporting Religious and Cultural Diversity in Iraq and Syria” in November 2014.
Media
In Paris, France on 15 and 16 June 2015, KAICIID held the European Media Forum on the universal human rights of freedom of religion and freedom of expression, which gathered European religious leaders, journalists, as well as civil society organisations. This forum is part of the implementation of the Vienna Declaration “United against Violence in the Name of Religion”, which was adopted in November 2014 and was followed up by the May 2015 conferences Beirut on preserving religious and cultural diversity in Syria and Iraq. The participants agreed that closer relations between journalists and religious communities increase the media’s religious awareness and the religious leader’s media awareness. Cooperative working relationships and shared understandings of the mindful exercise of universal rights will help both media and religious leaders proactively counteract hate speech and discrimination by fostering empathy for people of different faiths and cultural backgrounds.
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High level Christian and Muslim religious leaders from the Middle East met in Athens and endorsed the “Athens Declaration: United Against Violence in the Name of Religion – Supporting the Citizenship Rights of Christians, Muslims and Other Religious and Ethnic Groups in the Middle East”. The meeting, which took place from 2 to 3 September, was a joint initiative of KAICIID and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Vienna, with the support of the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The meeting brought together Christian and Muslim religious leaders from across the Middle East, including representatives from the Armenian, Catholic, Evangelical, Rum (Greek) Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox, Sunni, Shi’a and Druze communities.
More than 120 participants from religious communities, civil society and interreligious organizations across the Middle East met in Amman to develop new strategies for using social media to promote dialogue between different worldviews, cultures and religions. Participants shared lessons about best practices for disseminating messages of pluralism and interreligious coexistence. The meeting produced a manual and an action plan for regional social media capacity-building workshops for religious institutions.

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