Religious groups should teach human rights to stop sacrilege

Postdate: 16/ 10/ 2008

The Citizens’ Constitutional Forum (CCF) is gravely concerned at the incidents of sacrilege over the past two weeks including the burning of a temple in Nadi last night, and the looting of three temples in Nausori about three weeks ago.

“The churches and religious organisations need to do more to educate their followers on the basic principles of human rights. Freedom of Religion and Belief is a core human rights principle which intends to achieve peace and harmony in the world through religious tolerance,” CCF Chief Executive Officer, Rev Akuila Yabaki said.

“It is not enough for religious organisations to support the Yellow Ribbon Project. Religious organisations should show more commitment to reducing crime by emphasising to their followers the need to respect the human rights of other people who hold different values and beliefs,” Rev Yabaki said .

“CCF is part of an InterFaith group which promotes religious tolerance. Basically, tolerance begins with respect for others who may be different. Tolerance calls for sensitivity and the realization that religion is important to everyone,” Rev Yabaki said.

“CCF is greatly concerned that those committing sacrilege are targeting Hindu temples whose followers are mainly Indo-Fijian. This is creating a bad reputation for Fiji where these crimes are taken as acts of racism. We call on authorities to take swift attention to prosecute those responsible for this crime,” Rev Yabaki said.

For further information, please contact CCF on ph: 3308379, fax: 3308380.

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Rev Akuila Yabaki

Chief Executive Officer

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