Religious mobilization and the rights agenda

Foto: Ascom Setur Foto: Ascom Setur

If, on the one hand, religious groups have historically been engaged in the coordination of political domination and denial of rights around the world, also undeniable is the mobilizing potential of religion on topics involving human rights, both in the construction of an ethics of coexistence and in the creation of mechanisms to protect and guarantee rights. This is why we recognize the importance of a serious and critical dialogue between religion and human rights.

Following the publication of the issue of Sur Journal on Human Rights and Religion, we identified a surprising distance between defenders of religious agendas – such as the Secular State and freedom of religion and faith – and other human rights activists. Through this initiative, we hope to help reduce this distance and create opportunities for an exchange that furthers the promotion of rights, while recognizing and respecting the diversity of the actors involved in this struggle.

The initiative will also have a component for protecting the rights of politically minority groups that are affected by legislation that claims to protect the right to religious freedom. Accordingly, it will be fundamental to monitor the political exploitation of religion to violate the rights of religious minorities, women, girls and LGBTI+ people in our attempt to prevent setbacks. Finally, we want to use this collaboration between religion and human rights to establish a better and more effective understanding of religious racism and its effects in Brazil.

It is necessary to keep ensuring that the opportunities for exchange between human rights defenders can occur in safer, more inclusive and antiracist environments. Through this project, we aim to continue working towards this goal.

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