Swiss minaret ban discriminates against Muslims, says UN expert

An independent United Nations expert on religious freedom today voiced regret at the Swiss vote to ban the construction of new minarets, stating that such a prohibition clearly discriminates against Muslims.

UN expert stresses role of States in promoting religious tolerance

Governments have a central role to play in either preventing or contributing to religious friction, an independent United Nations expert said today, noting that a State’s commitments to non-discrimination, as well as its policies and messages, can promote tolerance.

Ban pledges to work with Pope on justice, peace, equality

Marking the anniversary of Pope Benedict’s address to the General Assembly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pledged to continue work with the head of the Catholic Church to build “a world of lasting justice and peace.”

Ban deeply saddened by deadly inter-communal clashes in Nigerian city

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has voiced his deep sadness at the inter-communal violence in the Nigerian city of Jos which has resulted in the loss of life, the displacement of people and the destruction of property over the past several days.

Religious minorities continue to suffer in many countries, UN expert says

Religious minorities in different parts of the world continue to be persecuted and discriminated against based on their beliefs, with some living in “perpetual threat,” according to an independent United Nations expert, who added that the problem is prevalent across a wide range of countries.

Dozens of global religious leaders partner to tackle AIDS, maternal death – UN

Over 75 religious leaders and representatives of Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jewish, Christian and Muslim groups attending a United Nations today have formed a Global Interfaith Network to address the crucial issues of maternal death, AIDS and poverty.

Universal religious values animate UN’s work, Annan says

Observing that universal religious values animate the work of the United Nations, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that men and women of faith are crucial to the world body.

UN expert urges States to protect freedom of religion for all prisoners

All countries must respect and protect the rights of prisoners to freedom of religion, an independent expert on the issue says in a new report to the United Nations General Assembly.

UN human rights commission urges action against religious defamation

The United Nations Commission on Human Rights has called on the international community to open a global dialogue to combat the defamation of religions, citing specifically the ethnic and religious profiling of Muslim minorities after the terrorist attacks against the United States on 11 September 2001.

UN rights expert warns against measures to restrict freedom of religion

The growing tensions between religious communities in many countries will only worsen if governments try to restrict the right to freedom of religion or belief, a United Nations human rights expert warns.