at Baghdad's main Catholic cathedral, Our Lady of Salvation, likewise on October 31
last. Even for a nationused to daily violence after years of war, the killings atthe hands of Islamic militants shocked Iraqis. It was theworst attack against the Christian minority since the 2003U.S. led invasion had unleashed fierce sectarian fighting between Shiite and Sunni Moslem sects that killed tens of thousands of civilians.
What you may not have read or heard in the news)
zbekistan continues to imprison devoutMoslems for long terms and equally devout Christians for shorter terms. For instance, a court in the capital of Tashkent imposed three-year jail terms on seven Moslemmen for holding unauthorized private religion lessons.The judge in the case, Rahimzhon Aliyev, stated that threeyears in a labor camp is "not a severe punishment".Pressed on why courts, including his court, have givensuch severe punishments to Moslems and not Protestants,Judge Aliyev said that it is "because of Uzbek law".Another court in the Tashkent Region gave five-dayadministrative detentions to two Protestants for unregistered religious activity, with two others beingfined. Earlier in 2010 Uzbekistan had also deported twoSouth Korean citizens for alleged "unauthorizedmissionary activity".
s those of you who periodically visit our website know, we have a digital counter on the Iraq pagewhich shows the financial costs to the United States aloneof the Iraq and Afghan conflicts as they continue toaccrue; and are conflicts which are listed as two of our Hotspots of religious-based conflict. In the Afghanistanconflict, for instance, the USA itself spends more than$250 billion a year including military costs and civilianaid. While this and the Iraq cost, both of which change by the second, may not be 100% accurate, and whilesome may disagree with these totals or the way they arecalculated, it is fair to say that they are astonishing. Andthey certainly, in general, adequately reflect the costs of these conflicts borne solely by the United States. As of December 1
, 2010 this cumulative cost to the UnitedStates alone was more than $760 billion, up from $743 billion in September, 2010.
ABOUT THE CENTER
hat the Center, as a totally independentinstitution, does is unique. No other such organizationhas as its sole goal the reduction of religious-basedconflict through a practical and specific approach whichgoes beyond tolerance. We believe this problem is larger than religions themselves, not within their total control,and cannot be solved by them alone. They need our help. Non-believers and governments alike must work tosupport them - as well as us - in this effort.
n this respect, the Center’s primary mission iseducation. To educate, we must first publicize the problem of religious-based conflict and show how itaffects all of us - either directly or indirectly; either physically or financially - and in many instances, both.We then educate by offering an approach towards itsreduction not heretofore recognized, showing how wemust go beyond tolerance, the current mantra for its so-called resolution, if we are to succeed. We describe thisstep in practical, realistic, not altruistic, terms.
he Center does not purport to be able to
this problem; rather we show how the people and their governments can approach it and eventually cause changein the direction of its reduction. Since humans areimperfect, we cannot expect to totally resolve the problemof religious-based conflict, but we can, through thismethod, substantially reduce it - to at least manageable proportions.
ou can help reduce religious-based conflict inthe world – probably more than you think you can. Eventhough individuals have limited power when acting alone,when they act as part of a group with a common purpose,this power increases geometrically. By supporting theCenter – morally, actively or financially, you do just that – have more impact. For those of you who provide your moral support, we thank you. For those who either asformal Volunteers or as individuals discuss with othersthe Center’s work, we cannot be more appreciative. For those who have the financial means and make charitablecontributions, we are forever grateful to you.
ur cause is unique. Our message is spreadingdaily to more and more people and governmentsthroughout the world. Our work continues to receive praise from those who know of it.
ut we must reach more people and moregovernments in order to increase our impact. And in this