St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine hosted a book talk on August 2, 2023, organized by the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding.
Dr. Georgette F. Bennet, Founder and President of the Tanenbaum Center presented Religicide: Confronting the Roots of Anti-Religious Violence, her latest publication with co-author Jerry White, Nobel Peace Laureat and former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State.
In conversation with Tanenbaum CEO Rev. Mark Fowler, Dr. Bennett shared insights on present-day cases of religious persecution around the world and solutions for how we can combat discrimination at the local and global levels.
Archbishop Elpidophoros of America remarked on the importance of Dr. Bennett’s message, and its particular resonance on the grounds of the Shrine, where a “religious house of worship was destroyed, along with so many living images of God.”
“…We are designed to recognize in one another the “capacity for the Divine” – that we are all capax Dei,” His Eminence said. When this recognition disappears, the human person, who is so capable of beauty, goodness, mercy and generosity, becomes equally capable of the most cruel and destructive evil. Throughout the march of human history, the weaponization of religion and the weaponization against religion have been dual plagues that have inflicted incalculable suffering on our human family.
Guests afterward participated in a Q&A and book signing with the author.
Religicide aims to create a new moral and legal category for religion-related violence—the fastest spreading violence worldwide—alongside other forms of persecution. Exploring the roots of atrocities such as the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, and the Bosnian war, as well as the persecution of the Yazidis in Iraq, the Rohingya in Myanmar, Uyghur Muslims Tibetan Buddhists in China, and Indigenous Americans, Bennett and White amplify the voices of survivors, offering a blueprint for action and calling on government, business, civil society, and religious leaders to join in a global campaign to protect religious minorities.