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MOSCOW, March 13 /TASS/. Russia will continue mobilizing the world community’s collective efforts designed to protect Christians, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in comment on a joint statement «Supporting the Human Rights of Christians and Other Communities, particularly in the Middle East».
The joint statement by 65 states was pronounced on the initiative of the Russian Federation, the Holy See and the Lebanon in the course of the 28th UNHRC session in Geneva on 13 March 2015.
The statement’s text has been published on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official website.
Apart from the main authors, the Joint statement was supported by the Russian Federation, Holy See, Lebanon, Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Congo, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Denmark, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Macedonia, Mali, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, Spain, Switzerland, Syria, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Venezuela, Zambia.
"The document voices deep concern over the position of Christians in the world, especially in the Middle East where millions of people of various creeds have been either displaced or force d to leave their ancestral lands," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
"Those who stay in conflict zones or areas controlled by terrorist groups live under permanent threat of human rights violations, repression and abuses," the foreign ministry quoted the joint statement as saying.
The statement’s text notes that "both communities and individuals fall victim to barbaric acts of violence: they are deprived of homes, driven from their native lands, sold into slavery, killed, beheaded and burnt alive."
"In this connection, there are more and more reasons to fear seriously for the future of the Christian presence in the Holy Land for more than two thousand years," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
The joint statement also contains a call on the international community to support the deeply rooted historical presence of all ethnic and religious communities in the Middle East and reaffirm its commitment to respect the rights of everyone, particularly the right to religious freedom, which is fixed in the fundamental international human rights instruments.