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United Against Violence in the Name of Religion

The UVNR Initiative was launched in Vienna in November 2014 at an historic meeting that convened leaders of Muslim, Christian, and other religious and ethnic communities from Iraq, Syria and the larger Middle East, where they jointly issued the Vienna Declaration, denouncing violence in the name of religion.

Under this initiative, the Centre is working with high level representatives of ve of the world’s major religions, as well as representatives of the Muslim communities, the Armenian Orthodox Church, the Council of Senior Scholars from Saudi Arabia, Evangelicals, the Iraqi Muslim Association, the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East, the Maronites, the Melkite Greek Catholics, the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC), the Mouwahiddoun Druze community 

in Lebanon, Protestant communities, the Yazidis, among many others. Working with this extensive network of religious leaders and communities, the Centre is undertaking activities with a range of partners, including UNESCO, UNDP, the UN O ce for the Prevention of Genocide and ISESCO, as well as various NGOs.

As a rst UVNR follow up event, the Centre held a meeting in Beirut, Lebanon in May 2015, where the representatives of high level religious leaders from the Arab world agreed to continue to work together. This event involved religious leaders, leading policymakers from governments, international organizations, and humanitarian and peace organizations active in the region.

In September 2015, 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 religious leaders called upon political leaders and civil society to take a strong stand against growing violent extremism and terrorism which threaten centuries of peaceful coexistence in the Middle East.

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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