1. We, faith-basedand civil society actors working in the field of human rights and gathered inBeirut on 28-29 March 2017, in culmination of a trajectory of meetings initiatedby the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR),express our deep conviction that our respective religions and beliefs share acommon commitment to upholding the dignityand the equal worth of all human beings. Shared humanvalues and equal dignity are therefore common roots of our cultures. Faith andrights should be mutually reinforcing spheres. Individual and communalexpression of religions or beliefs thrive and flourish in environments wherehuman rights, based on the equal worth of all individuals, are protected.Similarly, human rights can benefit from deeply rooted ethical and spiritualfoundations provided by religion or beliefs.
2. We understandour respective religious or belief convictions as a source for the protection ofthe whole spectrum of inalienable humanentitlements – from the preservation of the gift of life, the freedoms of thought,conscience, religion, belief, opinion and expression to the freedoms from wantand fear, including from violence in all its forms.
Ø “Whoeverpreserves one life, is considered by Scripture as if one has preserved thewhole world.” (Talmud, Sanhedrin, 37,a).
Ø “Someonewho saves a person’s life is equal to someone who saves the life of all.”(Qu’ran 5:32)
Ø “Youshall love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all yourstrength, and with your entire mind; and your neighbour as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)
Ø Let themworship the Lord of this House who saved them from hunger and saved them fromfear.” (Sourat Quraish, verses 3,4)
Ø “A singleperson was created in the world, to teach that if anyone causes a single personto perish, he has destroyed the entire world; and if anyone saves a singlesoul, he has saved the entire world.” (Mishna Sanhedrin 4:5)
Ø “Let usstand together, make statements collectively and may our thoughts be one.”(Rigveda 10:191:2)
Ø “Just asI protect myself from unpleasant things however small, in the same way I shouldact towards others with a compassionate and caring mind.” (Shantideva, A Guideto the Bodhisattva\\\\\\\'s Way of Life)
Ø“Let usput our minds together to see what life we can make for our children.” (ChiefSitting Bull, Lakota)
3. Based onthe above, among many other sources of faith, we are convinced that our religious or belief convictions are one ofthe fundamental sources of protectionfor human dignity and freedoms of all individuals and communities with nodistinction on any ground whatsoever. Religious, ethical and philosophical textspreceded international law in upholding the oneness of humankind, thesacredness of the right to life and the corresponding individual and collectiveduties that are grounded in the hearts of believers.
4. We pledgeto disseminate the common human valuesthat unite us. While we differ on some theological questions, we undertaketo combat any form of exploitation of such differences to advocate violence,discrimination and religious hatred.
Ø “We have designed a law and a practice fordifferent groups. Had God willed, He would have made you a single community,but He wanted to test you regarding what has come to you. So compete with eachother in doing good. Every one of you will return to God and He will inform youregarding the things about which you differed.” (Qu’ran 5, 48)
Ø “Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves ofone branch.” (Bahá’u’lláh)
5. Webelieve that freedom of religion or belief does not exist without the freedom of thought and conscience whichprecede all freedoms for they are linked to human essence and his/her rights ofchoice and to freedom of religion or belief. A person as a whole is the basisof every faith and he/she grows through love, forgiveness and respect.
6. We herebysolemnly launch together from Beirut the most noble of all struggles,peaceful but powerful, against our own egos, self-interest and artificial divides.Only when we as religious actors assume our respective roles, articulate ashared vision of our responsibilities and transcend preaching to action, onlythen we will credibly promote mutual acceptance and fraternity among people ofdifferent religions or beliefs and empower them to defeat negative impulses ofhatred, viciousness, manipulation, greed, cruelty and related forms ofinhumanity. All religious or belief communities need a resolved leadership thatunequivocally dresses that path by acting for equal dignity of everyone, drivenby our shared humanity and respect for the absolute freedom of conscience ofevery human being. We pledge to spare no effort in filling that jointleadership gap by protecting freedom and diversity through “faith for rights”activities.
Ø“Weperfected each soul within its built in weakness for wrong doing and itsaspiration for what is right. Succeeds he or she who elevate to the path ofrightness.” (Qu’ran 91, 7-9)
7. Thepresent declaration on “Faith for Rights” reachesout to persons belonging to religions and beliefs in all regions of the world,with a view to enhancing cohesive, peaceful and respectful societies on thebasis of a common action-oriented platform agreed by all concerned and open toall actors that share its objectives. We value that our declaration on Faithfor Rights, like its founding precedentthe Rabat Plan of Action on incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence(October 2012), were both conceived and conducted under the auspices and withthe support of the United Nations that represents all peoples of the world, andenriched by UN human rights mechanisms such as Special Rapporteurs and TreatyBody members.
8. Whilenumerous welcomed initiatives attempted over time to link faith with rights forthe benefit of both, none of these attempts fully reached that goal. We are thereforeconvinced that religious actors shouldbe enabled, both nationally and internationally, to assume theirresponsibilities in defending our shared humanity against incitement to hatred,those who benefit from destabilising societies and the manipulators of fear tothe detriment of equal and inalienable human dignity. With the present F4R Declaration,we aim to join hands and hearts in building on previous attempts to bringcloser faith and rights by articulating the common grounds between allof us and define ways in which faith can standfor rights more effectively so that both enhance each other.
Ø“Mankindis at loss. Except those who believe in doing righteous deeds, constantly recommendit to one another and persist in that vein.” (Qu’ran 103, 3)
9. Buildingon the present declaration, we also intend to practice what we preach throughestablishing a multi-level coalition, open for all independent religiousactors and faith-based organisations who genuinely demonstrate acceptance ofand commitment to the present F4R declaration by implementing projects on theground in areas that contribute to achieving its purpose. We will also becharting a roadmap for concrete actions in specific areas, to be reviewedregularly by our global coalition of Faith for Rights.
10. To achievethe above goal, we pledge as believers(whether theistic, non-theistic, atheistic or other) to fully adhere to five fundamental principles:
a) Transcendingtraditional inter-faith dialogues into concrete action-oriented Faith forRights (F4R) projects at the local level.While dialogue is important, it is not an end in itself. Good intentions are oflimited value without corresponding action. Change on the ground is the goaland concerted action is its logical means.
Ø“Faith isgrounded in the heart when it is demonstrated by deeds.” (Hadith)
b) Avoiding theological and doctrinal divides in order to act on areas of shared inter-faith and intra-faith vision as defined in the present F4R declaration.This declaration is not conceived to be a tool for dialogue among religions butrather a joint platform for common action in defence of human dignity for all. Whilewe respect freedom of expression and entertain no illusion as to the continuationof a level of controversy at different levels of religious discourse, we areresolved to challenge the manipulationof religions in both politics and conflicts. We intend to be a balancingunited voice of solidarity, reason, compassion, moderation, enlightenment andcorresponding collective action at the grassroots level.
c) Introspectiveness is a virtue we cherish. We will all speak up and act first andforemost on our own weaknesses and challenges within our respectivecommunities. We will address more global issues collectively and consistently, afterinternal and inclusive deliberation that preserves our most precious strength,i.e. integrity.
d) Speakingwith one voice, particularly against any advocacy ofhatred that amounts to inciting violence, discrimination or any other violationof the equal dignity that all human beings enjoy regardless of their religion, belief,gender, political or other opinion, national or social origin, or any otherstatus. Denouncing incitement to hatred, injustices, discrimination onreligious grounds or any form of religious intolerance is not enough. We have aduty to redress hate speech by remedial compassion and solidarity that healshearts and societies alike. Our words of redress should transcend religious orbelief boundaries. Such boundaries should thus no longer remain a free land formanipulators, xenophobes, populists and violent extremists.
e) We areresolved to act in a fully independentmanner, abiding only by our conscience, while seeking partnerships with religiousand secular authorities, relevant governmental bodies and non-State actorswherever Faith for Rights (F4R) coalitions are freely established in conformitywith the present declaration.
11. Our main tool and asset is reaching out tohundreds of millions of believers in a preventive structured manner to conveyour shared convictions enshrined in this F4R declaration. Speaking up in onevoice in defence of equal dignity of all on issues of common challenges tohumanity equally serves the cause of faith and rights. Human beings areentitled to full and equal respect, rather than mere tolerance, regardless ofwhat they may believe or not believe. It is our duty to uphold this commitment withinour respective spheres of competence. We will also encourage all believers toassume their individual responsibilities in the defence of their deeply heldvalues of justice, equality and responsibility towards the needy anddisadvantaged, regardless of their religion or belief.
Ø “People are either your brothers in faith, or yourbrothers in humanity.\\" (Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib)
Ø “On the long journey of human life, Faith is thebest of companions.” (Buddha)
12. We aim toachieve that goal in a concrete manner that matters for people at the grassroots level in all parts of the world wherecoalitions of religious actors choose to adhere to this declaration and actaccordingly. We will support each other’s actions, including through a highly symbolicannual Walk of Faith for Rights in the richest expression of our unity indiversity each 10th of December in all parts of the world.
13. Articulatingthrough the present declaration a common vision of religious actors, on thebasis of the Rabat Plan of Action of 2012 and follow-up meetings, would providethe tipping point for disarming theforces of darkness; and help dismantling the unholy alliance in too manyhearts between fear and hatred. Violence in the name of religion defeats itsbasic foundations, mercy and compassion. We intend to transform the messages ofmercy and compassion into acts of solidarity through inter-communal social,developmental and environmental faith-based projects at the local, national,regional and global levels.
14. We fully embrace the universally recognised valuesas articulated in international human rights instruments as common standards ofour shared humanity. We ground our commitments in this F4R declaration firstand foremost in our conviction that religions and beliefs share common corevalues of respect for human dignity, justice and fairness. We also ground thesecommitments in our acceptance of the fact that “Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the freeand full development of his personality is possible”.Our duty is to practice what we preach, to fully engage, to speak up and act onthe ground in the defence of human dignity long before it is actuallythreatened.
Ø“Oh you believers, why don’t youpractice what you preach? Most hateful for God is preaching what you don’t practice.”(Qu’ran 61: 2-3)
Ø“Speak upfor those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who aredestitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”(Proverbs 31:8-9)
15. Both religiousprecepts and existing international legal frameworks attribute responsibilitiesto religious actors. Empowering religious actors requires actions in areas suchas legislation, institutional reforms, supportive public policies and training adaptedto the needs of local religious actors who often are one of the main sources ofeducation and social change in their respective areas of action. Internationalconventions and covenants have defined key legal terms such as genocide,refugee, religious discrimination and freedom of religion or belief. All these concepts havecorresponding resonance in different religions and beliefs. In addition, numerous declarations and resolutions provide elements of religious actors’roles and responsibilities that we embrace and consolidate in this F4R declaration.
16. We agree as human beings that we are accountable to all human beings asto redressing the manner by which religions are portrayed and too often manipulated.We are responsible for our actions but evenmore responsible if we do not act or do not act properly and timely.
Ø“We will ask each of you aboutall what you have said and done, for you are accountable\\" (Quran,Assaafat, 24)
Ø \\"Every man\\\\\\\'s work shall be mademanifest.\\" (Bible, 1 Corinthians iii. 13)
17. While Statesbear the primary responsibility for promoting and protecting all rights forall, individually and collectively to enjoy a dignified life free from fear andfree from want and enjoy the freedom of choice in all aspects of life, we asreligious actors or as individual believers do bear a distinct responsibilityto stand up for our shared humanity andequal dignity of each human being in all circumstances within our ownspheres of preaching, teaching, spiritual guidance and social engagement.
Ø“Whoeverwitnesses an injustice or wrong doing should change its course by his hand. IfHe or she cannot do that, they by his words. If he or she is unable to do thatthen by their hearts. This would be the weakest of acts of faith” (Hadith).
18. Religious communities, their leaders and followershave a role and bear responsibilities independently from public authorities bothunder national and international legal instruments. By virtue of article 2 (1) ofthe 1981 UN Declaration on the Elimination of all Forms of Intolerance and ofDiscrimination Based on Religion of Belief, “no one shall be subject todiscrimination by any State, institution, group of persons or person on thegrounds of religion or belief”. This provision establishes directresponsibilities of religious institutions, leaders and even each individualwithin religious or belief communities.
19. Asmuch as the notion of effective control provides the foundation for responsibilities ofnon-State actors in times of conflict, we see a similar legal and ethical justification in case of religiousleaders who exercise a heighteneddegree of influence over the hearts andminds of their followers atall times.
20. Speech is fundamentalto individual and communal flourishing. It constitutes one of the most crucial mediumsfor good and evil sides of humanity. War starts in the minds and iscultivated by a reasoning fuelled by often hidden advocacy of hatred. Positivespeech is also the healing tool of reconciliation and peace-building in thehearts and minds. Speech is one of the most strategic areas of the responsibilitieswe commit to assume and support each other for their implementation throughthis F4R declaration on the basis of the thresholds articulated by the Rabat Planof Action.
21. Under the InternationalCovenant on Civil and Political Rights (article 20, paragraph 2), States areobliged to prohibit any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred thatconstitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence. This includes incitement to hatred by some religiousleaders in the name of religion. Due to the speaker’s position, context,content and extent of sermons, such statements by religious leaders may belikely to meet the threshold of incitement to hatred. Prohibiting suchincitement is not enough. Remedial advocacy to reconciliation is equally aduty, including for religious leaders, particularly when hatred is advocated inthe name of religions or beliefs.
22. The clearestand most recent guidance in this area is provided by the 2012 Rabat Plan of Actionwhich articulates three specific core responsibilitiesof religious leaders: (a) Religious leaders should refrain from usingmessages of intolerance or expressions which may incite violence, hostility ordiscrimination; (b) Religious leaders also have a crucial role to play in speakingout firmly and promptly against intolerance, discriminatory stereotyping andinstances of hate speech; and (c) Religious leaders should be clear that violencecan never be tolerated as a response to incitement to hatred (e.g. violencecannot be justified by prior provocation).
 All quotations from religiousor belief texts were offered by participants of the Beirut workshop in relationto their own religion or belief and are merely intended to be illustrative andnon-exhaustive.
 OHCHR organized relatedinternational meetings, expert seminars and regional workshops, including inGeneva (October 2008), Vienna (February 2011), Nairobi (April 2011), Bangkok(July 2011), Santiago de Chile (October 2011), Rabat (October 2012), Geneva(February 2013), Amman (November 2013), Manama (2014), Tunis (October 2014 and April2015), Nicosia (October 2015), Beirut (December 2015) and Amman (January 2017).
 See UN Human RightsCommittee, general comment no. 22 (1993), UN Doc. CCPR/C/21/Rev.1/Add.4, para.2.
 Article 29, paragraph 1,of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948).
 These include the Conventionon the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948); ConventionRelating to the Status of Refugees (1951); International Convention on theElimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965); International Covenanton Civil and Political Rights (1966); International Covenant on Economic,Social and Cultural Rights (1966); Convention on the Elimination of All Formsof Discrimination against Women (1979); Convention against Torture and OtherCruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984); Convention on theRights of the Child (1989); International Convention on the Protection of theRights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families (1990); Conventionon the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006); and International Conventionfor the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (2006).
 These include theUniversal Declaration of Human Rights (1948); Declaration on the Elimination ofAll Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief (1981);Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religiousand Linguistic Minorities (1992); Principles of Conduct for the InternationalRed Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Response Programmes(1994); UNESCO Declaration on Principles of Tolerance (1995); Final Document ofthe International Consultative Conference on School Education in Relation toFreedom of Religion or Belief, Tolerance and Non-Discrimination (2001); ToledoGuiding Principles on Teaching about Religions and Beliefs in Public Schools(2007); United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007);The Hague Statement on “Faith in Human Rights” (2008); Camden Principles onFreedom of Expression and Equality (2009); Human Rights Council resolution16/18 on Combating Intolerance, Negative Stereotyping and Stigmatization of,and Discrimination, Incitement to Violence and Violence against, Persons Basedon Religion or Belief (and Istanbul Process, 2011); Rabat Plan of Action on theprohibition of advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred thatconstitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence (2012);Framework of Analysis for Atrocity Crimes (2014); Secretary-General’s Plan ofAction to Prevent Violent Extremism (2015); as well as the Fez Declaration onpreventing incitement to violence that could lead to atrocity crimes (2015).
 Under certaincircumstances, in particular when non-State actors exercisesignificant/effective control over territory and population (e.g. as defacto authorities), they are also obliged to respect international humanrights as duty bearers (see UN Docs. CEDAW/C/GC/30, para. 16; A/HRC/28/66, paras. 54-55).
 SeeUN Doc. A/HRC/22/17/Add.4, annex, appendix, para. 36.