Press Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson
for the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
on the shooting inside a church in Texas
New York – 31 December 2019
The High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Mr. Miguel Moratinos expresses his dismay at the shooting that resulted in killing two people inside the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas during this past Sunday’s congregation. The High Representative stresses that all forms of violence and acts of terror against religious sites and worshipers, regardless of their faiths and beliefs, are unjustifiable. He reiterates that houses of worship are meant to be sacred havens where worshipers can practice their faith safely and freely rather than a space for acts of violence and losing innocent lives.
Noting the spate of attacks against religious sites, worshipers and clergy throughout the year, the High Representative recalls the UN Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites developed by his office and which offers concrete recommendations to support countries in promoting safety of holy sites, ensuring that worshipers can observe their rituals in peace, and fostering the values of compassion tolerance and religious pluralism. He reiterates that we all have a responsibility to unequivocally denounce all forms of discrimination and xenophobia including anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and animosity towards Christians.
The High-Representative expresses his deepest condolences to the victims’ families and wishes a speedy recovery to those who were injured.