PLYMOUTH, England, Jan. 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination speaks out in response to the spike in religious hate crime in the U.K. elevated since the Paris terrorist attacks, by stepping up their human rights education initiative and pushing the use of the U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights to combat anti-religious hatred and bigotry.
Despite the U.K.'s reputation as one of the most tolerant European countries, the Community Security Trust reported a 53 percent increase in anti-Semitic incidents in the U.K. The Home Office released figures showing hate crimes in England and Wales rose 18 percent last year. And although a University of Manchester study carried out after last November's Paris terrorist attacks found no increase in anti-Muslim attitudes, the Metropolitan Police have logged a dramatic increase in Islamophobic hate crimes over the past two years.
The fundamental right to practice one's religion is one of the "inalienable rights of all members of the human family," and is the "foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world," according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which calls on U.N. member nations to "strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international."
In keeping with this mandate, the local chapter of the group known as STAND formed by Scientology volunteers from the Church of Scientology of Plymouth, carried out human rights awareness drives in Plymouth city center. The promoted these rights using materials published by Youth for Human Rights International, the human rights education initiative the Church supports. They handed out copies of the booklet What Are Human Rights? and encouraged the signing of a petition calling on the government to require human rights education in all U.K. schools.
Scientologists on five continents engage in collaborative efforts with government agencies and nongovernmental organizations to bring about broad-scale awareness and implementation of the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the world's premier human rights document. The purpose of Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination (STAND) is to end forever the defamation and bigotry toward Scientologists and the Scientology religion and to protect everyone's basic inalienable right to practice their chosen faith.