“In many contexts globally, stateless people live in religiously diverse societies,” notes the message. “Interfaith cooperation is therefore essential as we work to eradicate statelessness.”
The message observes that, although the world’s major religious traditions are each distinct and beautifully unique, with different sacred texts and ethical perspectives, they do share common values of solidarity, cooperation, equality and non- discrimination.
"Interfaith cooperation is essential for peaceful and sustainable societies, because it enables us to hold up shared values that are common across traditions in view of finding common ground for word and action,” reads the message. “In a world scarred by the evils of injustice, discrimination, inequality and poverty, we offer these shared Interfaith Affirmations on Belongingness as we strive together to address and eradicate statelessness.”
The affirmations first recognize the special plight of stateless persons.
“Bereft of the nationality of any country, stateless people are made vulnerable and are pushed to the margins of society, with minimal or no access to the basic human rights needed to live a dignified and fulfilling life,” reads the message. “Our traditions affirm the dignity of every human being and the oneness of our human family.”
The message also emphasizes that shared teachings must become the basis of advocacy to end statelessness.
“Our understanding of the impacts of exclusion and discrimination must awaken us to the suffering of those who are stateless, both within and outside our faith communities,” reads the message. “We affirm that human beings should not have to flee their homes to enjoy basic rights and to have a sense of belongingness.”
The text urges that everyone should feel secure and at home in our world.
“We recognise the special vulnerability of women and girls in stateless circumstances and celebrate their contribution to life: including life-bearers and caregivers, and contributors to public service, among many other capacities,” reads the message. “When stateless, women bear a disproportionate burden of discrimination.”
The message affirms that children always belong and should never become victims of statelessness. “Children are the expressions of innocence and hope,” reads the message. “Stateless children inherit a world they did not create but that rejects them.”
WCC director for International Affairs Peter Prove remarked: “Statelessness, though by definition a hidden problem, is in many respects a threshold issue for the promotion and protection of all human rights, with the right to a nationality effectively being the right to have rights. We therefore very much welcome this expression of inter-religious partnership in addressing this fundamental challenge.”
The text shares a commitment to cultivate the spiritual will and moral consciousness to translate the best values of our faith traditions into intentional actions for transformation. “We refuse to surrender to suffering as having the final say,” concludes the text. “May we find practical ways to support these sacred truths, so that all belong and know that they have a place of peace and security where they enjoy all fundamental human rights.”