A Call to Protect Religious Freedoms Worldwide

Sign the Letter!

Tell the UN to Withdraw Report Attacking Religious Freedoms 


A new UN report issued by the UN Special Rapporteur on religious freedom or belief calls upon governments to legalize abortion, eliminate conscience clauses for medical professionals, mandate controversial comprehensive sexuality education beginning at age 10, and legalize controversial LGBT rights, ironically, all under the banner of promoting religious freedom. Help stop this report which is slated to be presented to the UN General Assembly in the fall of 2020.



We, as religious leaders representing diverse religions throughout the world, are deeply concerned by a recent report issued by the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief (A/HRC/43/48). Alarmingly, this report, under the banner of protecting religious freedom, instead, distorts and undermines religious freedom.


We therefore call upon all UN Member States to reject this ultra vires report and for the appropriate UN entities to strike this report from UN records.


UN Special Rapporteurs are required to be unbiased protectors of true human rights, yet this Rapporteur has sought to advance a distorted notion of human rights at the expense of universally recognized religious freedom rights.


Human Rights Distortions


Throughout the report, the Rapporteur pits concepts of widely contested and controversial sexual rights against well-established religious freedom rights that the Special Rapporteur is duty bound to protect. A few examples of the report’s egregious assaults on religious freedoms include:


  • Falsely claims protections for children from controversial “sexuality education programs” and strong legal protections for unborn children violate alleged “sexual and reproductive rights,” a term which has been rejected by many UN Member States in UN consensus documents.


  • Declares that conscious clauses (which protect a person’s right not to be compelled to act in ways that violate their religious beliefs) constitute “discrimination.”


  • Stigmatizes and labels as “conversion therapy,” any therapy that affirms and supports “lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or gender nonconforming persons” in their goal to align their internal perception of their gender with their God-given biological sex or their sexual behavior to be congruent with their own personal values and beliefs. The report actually calls such therapy, which has helped countless individuals, “gender-based violence.”


  • Cites multiple ultra vires and nonbinding human rights committee pronouncements to support misguided attempts to redefine the term “sex” in binding treaties to encompass special protections for sexual orientation and gender identities including “trans status.”
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Ultra Vires Recommendations


The Special Rapporteur’s report concludes with the following ultra vires recommendations:


  • Calls upon States to ensure a right for adolescents to “comprehensive sexuality education, in line with international standards.” The “international standards” cited to is the “International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education,” which has never been considered by or agreed upon by UN Member States. In fact, this is one of the most controversial documents ever pushed by UN agencies as it promotes to children, among other things, abortion, transgender ideology, sexual pleasure, and a right for children to engage in heterosexual or homosexual sex.


  • Calls upon States to ensure a “right” and access to “reproductive health services” for “adolescents and LGBT+ persons.” Since the UN defines “adolescents” as young as age 10, this violates the rights of parents to guide the health care of their children. It also can be construed as a right to abortion and/or harmful, experimental, cross-sex hormone therapy or surgeries for children, without parental consent.


  • Calls upon States to repeal laws that are enacted with reference to religious consideration that 1) criminalize adultery; 2) regulate behavior based on “actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity or expression”; or that 3) criminalize abortion in all cases.


  • Calls upon States to end any religious practice that violates the Rapporteur’s controversial notions of LGBT+ “rights” even though there is no binding UN treaty that even mentions LGBT+ rights, yet multiple binding treaties protect religious freedom rights.[1] To clarify, we support the protection of all universally recognized human rights for all LGBT identifying individuals but do not support special rights for sexual behaviors.


  • Calls upon States to “withdraw reservations to core human rights treaties” if they are based on “religious considerations.”


We therefore call upon all UN Member States to reject the gross abuses of religious freedom that are rampant throughout this report and call for the current Special Rapporteur on religious freedom or belief to be replaced with a neutral, unbiased expert in religious freedom rights who will operate within their mandate and actively work to protect religious freedoms rather than use their position to distort and undermine them.




[Your signature inserted here]


[1] Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (ICMW), International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD).






This letter will be delivered to:


All United Nations Ambassadors representing  193 Member States (in New York and Geneva)


António Guterres,
Secretary-General of the United Nations


Michelle Bachelet,
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights


Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger,
President of the Human Rights Council


Tijjani Muhammad-Bande,
President of the General Assembly


Cyril Ramaphosa,
Chairperson of the African Union


Yousef Bin Ahmad Bin Abdul Rahman Al-Othaimeen,
Secretary General of Organization of  Islamic Cooperation



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