Islamic State

UN diplomats to be warned over war risk facing religious minorities

Wed 07 Mar 2018
By Alex Williams

Diplomats at the United Nations shall be warned on Wednesday that war poses a specific to Christians and other religious groups.

They will be told during a meeting in Geneva that religious minorities are among groups most vulnerable to being targeted in conflicts.

Disturbing reports of suffering endured by Christians and Yazidis at the hands of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria will serve as case studies during the meeting, which is highlight conflicts in Africa and the Middle East.


The side event is being organised by UN representatives from Poland and the Vatican as the 38th summit of the UN Human Rights Council continues in Geneva.

Giorgio Mazzoli from the Christian legal advocacy organisation ADF International, which is also an organiser, said the event's aimed at highlighting the issue.

He told Premier: "Sadly, an increasing number of both international and non-international armed conflicts going on around the world to date are displaying a religious dimension.

Henry Mühlpfordt/Creative Commons


"By organising this side event, ADF International wants to raise awareness."

The meeting, which commences at 3pm local time, will debate possible ways of guaranteeing better protection for religious minorities affected by war.

Mr Mazzoli added: "Our main objective here is to call the international community to fulfil its responsibility to respond to the early warning signs of violence and persecution."

In one of the extremist group's most high-profile massacres, 21 Christians (mostly Copts from Egypt) were abducted and beheaded on a beach in Libya in Feburary 2015.

Click here to listen to Premier's Alex Williams speaking with Giorgio Mazzoli:

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