Religious organizations threaten human rights globally by opposing coronavirus health guidelines
Religious organizations threaten human rights globally by opposing coronavirus health guidelines; billions of lives at risk A LETTER TO ALL UN MEMBERS It has become an increasing trend to see religious organizations violate government state mandates in connection with assembly of a small or large group of people in the name of freedom of religion. However, religious organizations in violation of government mandates stay at home orders are actually working against global peace and security and are in violation of Article 19 of the Human Rights code adopted by the United Nations at the General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948. At that historic meeting, the United Nations vowed that human rights must be universally protected but today, religious organizations are violating that article by putting the lives of people all over the world at risk in the name of "freedom of religion." This poses a threat to some 8 billion people living on earth and the United Nations has a moral obligation to do something about it now! NPR news reported "the first two cases of coronavirus infection in the Gaza Strip, were confirmed over the weekend in Palestinian men who attended a mass religious gathering 10 days ago in Pakistan, according to an Islamabad-based Palestinian diplomat." NPR report continues "The diplomat, Ahmed Rabi, says the men were part of a two-day gathering, the gathering of the Tablighi Jamaat, a global conservative Muslim missionary group, brought together tens of thousands of Muslim preachers from some 80 countries and has raised concerns about the virus' spread in Pakistan and beyond." The NPR report further added that "the group, founded nearly a century ago in India, has millions of followers and proselytizes around the world. Preachers on missions sleep in mosques and make door-to-door visits." Such heartless actions by prominent religious organizations put the lives of millions at risk, not only in the Muslim faith but globally. In the US, the situation is no better. ABC News reported "Despite repeated warnings from health experts about the risk of social interaction amid the novel coronavirus outbreak, governors in at least four states have exempted houses of worship from statewide bans on mass gatherings, and this weekend will offer a first test to see if any congregations forge ahead despite the warnings." The report continues " in New York, which is now the epicenter of the outbreak in the United States, local news reports indicate many ultra-Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn have anguished over the ban, with many refusing to comply. Last week, The New York Times reported that the fire department had to be called to break up hundreds of revelers celebrating at a Hasidic wedding in Brooklyn." It further adds that "in Louisiana, the pastor at the Life Tabernacle Church outside of Baton Rouge, vowed to continue worship services for a congregation of more than 1,000 members, according to news reports. The Rev. Tony Spell told CNN, "If they close every door in this city, then I will close my doors. But you can't say the retailers are essential but the church is not. That is a persecution of the faith." Such actions by these religious entities put the lives of missions at risk daily, and Sate Governments who lack full understanding in the of the US constitution and fail to see the threat they pose in opposition to Article 19 of the Human Rights Committee of 1948, are a danger to the whole world, in that the US places itself as a global leader, promoting many nations to follow in their footsteps. According to a report Aljazeera, "some mosques in Indonesia have reportedly ignored calls to suspend _ prayers, and there has been a slower response in parts of Africa, including Burkina Faso, where only a small number of cases have so far been reported." The report further satest that "in Brazil, evangelical and Catholic churches remain open, with one church pastor in Rio de Janeiro obtaining a court order to keep the church open amid calls for smaller gatherings." It adds, "small protests have also been reported in Iran and Senegal against the measures." In Canada, the situation is also bleed, as the report confirms "Syed Soharwardy is an imam at the Green Dome Mosque in Calgary, western Canada, and the chairman of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada,and is keen to keep his mosque open during this period." Promotion of non-medical remedies puts missions at risk in Myanmar and India A recent report from UCA News states "on the evening of March 18, dozens of Buddhist monks went around Mandalay, Myanmar’s second-largest city, chanting prayers to prevent the spread of the coronavirus that has ravaged many countries." The report continues "some Buddhist figures have been promoting non-medical remedies and some Burmese people have been sharing myths about the coronavirus in the Buddhist-majority country." It adds, "one monk claimed that eating a lime and three palm seeds would keep the virus away, while another recommended consuming seven ground peppercorns.In an impoverished country that had been isolated from the world for decades, some people still believe that they remain safe due to Theravada Buddhism and the prayers of senior monks." The irresponsible response of religious leaders during this COVID-19 pandemic, by promoting non-medical remedies and prayers to cure COVID, is both disrespectful to global faiths around the world who are also praying but still suffering from the global pandemic. Their actions put the lives of millions at risk daily. Not just in Myanmar, but in every country that conducts trade and business with them, including their tourism industry. For if prayers were really preventing the disease, why has it not stopped the countless bloody wars the country has been engaged in against other religious groups? India has not escaped the ill effects of the religiously misguided. Reuters reports, "Federal authorities said they needed to track down more than 1,000 people linked to a large Muslim missionary gathering nearly 2,000 km away in the capital New Delhi." The report continues "Authorities in Andhra Pradesh, a region of about 50 million people, used cell phone towers, government databases and even village volunteers over the next five days to find almost everyone on the list — from attendees to the people they had been in close contact to fellow travelers." However, the reality remains that there is no way to guarantee that they got everyone exposed to the notorious disease. " The report adds "the outbreak is the largest cluster reported in India, according to federal and state health department data. It presents a major challenge to the country of 1.3 billion people, where high population density and a rudimentary public health system risk undermining the fight against the disease that has killed tens of thousands of people worldwide." This well illustrates the danger major religious organizations are placing on global, as mankind faces the greatest threat to human survival, since the ice age. Perhaps the most reprehensible during this COVID-19 crisis is the Vatican. On April 17, they reported, "During Palm Sunday Mass in St Peter’s Basilica, celebrated with a limited congregation due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Pope Francis dedicates his homily to the theme of service." The pandemic has been going on for a few months, and the Vatican's negligence in implementing safety precautions up until April 17, is both irresponsible and criminal. They have already put the lives of billions all over the world due to their dangerous lapse in judgment, which could cost the lives of millions when or if this is all over. If they were to prematurely lift their restrictions, who would hold them accountable? By the time someone did, millions of lives could have already been lost. How have these world religions violated Human Rights Article 19 adopted by the UN in 1948? These major religious organizations have violated Human Rights Article 19 in a few different ways. Article 1 states "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood." By failing to protect the masses from the harmful impact of the notorious coronavirus and in other cases, ignoring governmental orders, they have acted against the interest of humanity. Violating the interest of brotherhood in place to self-interest and self-preservation. Article 3 states "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person." By their defiant stand against conventional medicine in the name of 'freedom of religion,' they have put the safety of missions at risk. Something, if not checked, made lead to the death of millions more, if not worse. Would penalizing religions for their failure to protect the masses in some way violate their human rights? Simply put, NO! Why not? According to Human Rights Committee laws, Article 19, section 3 and the 2011 General Comments No. 34, section 35, which states in part, "when a State party invokes a legitimate grounds for restrictions of freedom or expression, it must demonstrate in specific and individualized fashion the precise nature of the threat." Simply put, it is within the right of each respective government to limit basic human rights to prevent a threat of their existence. In the case with the coronavirus, not only are States at risk, humanity is at risk. Therefore, legally and internationally, human governments have full authority to restrict the operations of religious organizations in the interest of humanity and global peace and security. How wold small and large countries go about implementing such laws? To pass laws in court takes time. So, what would be the solution? Quick action is needed if humanity is going to be spared the global consequences of this pandemic. That being the case, a decision passed down the United Nations is in order. Each individual government would need to give their power and authority to the United Nations to pass an international law that would go into effect internationally. In that this is a global pandemic, a global solution is needed and quickly. As part of this action, it's important for the UN to take ownership of all religious property and assets for a few key reasons. Taking ownership of property immediately will prevent religious organizations from violating UN guidelines. Thus, preventing them from further putting missions at risk. Taking ownership of religious assets will prevent the spread of medical misinformation advocated and promoted by key religious heads that continue to put missions at risk, who look to these organizations as law instead of listening to the practical advice of their government leaders. How will this impact peace & security? Well, for the first time in history, everyone will truly be equal. Regardless of faith and belief, they will be united in the cause of humanity and peace and security. Will restricting religious activity and eliminating key places of worship violate freedom of religion? Simply put, No! Why not? Individuals all over the world will still have the ability to believe in their God and pray. None of that is changing. However, the restrictions would be necessary to preserve the safety of humanity and work to fully establish peace and security globally.