Religious holidays can be a time of great emotional turmoil.
This year, the holiday of Easter has been transformed by religious extremists.
As many people around the world prepare to celebrate their favourite holiday, we have chosen to highlight some of the more outrageous examples of religious violence around the globe.
From a terrorist attack on a Jewish cemetery in Poland to an attack on the Jewish cemetery of Sousse, there are examples of extremist violence and intolerance that are a reflection of our time.
Some of these cases have been linked to radicalisation and extremist ideology, while others are simply examples of extreme behaviour.
There is an urgent need to recognise that religious and cultural violence against vulnerable populations is a global issue.
We can no longer ignore this reality.
The United Nations and the World Health Organisation have recently established a special committee to tackle the spread of extremist ideology.
They have already identified a number of countries that have the highest rates of violence against religious minorities, such as Bangladesh, Indonesia and Sudan.
We are aware that many of the attacks are not carried out by lone extremists, but instead by groups of followers, sometimes including members of religious groups.
But what is also clear is that they have been carried out with the aim of radicalising their victims.
This is because, for some, religion is the basis of their identity and their identity is the foundation of their lives.
This makes it even more important that we find solutions that work for the entire community.
The World Council of Churches has developed a series of Action Plan for Religious Violence to be released on Wednesday.
The aim of this series is to help to build trust between religious communities and ensure that their issues are being properly addressed and that their violence is eradicated.
To achieve this, the Action Plan is based on three principles: 1) the prevention of religious-motivated violence; 2) the promotion of tolerance and respect; and 3) the protection of the right to freedom of religion and belief.
In the coming weeks, we will also release a series called ‘Religious Freedom and Human Rights’ which will provide more information on the work that we are doing to protect religious freedom and human rights.
In addition, we are inviting all parties concerned to engage in dialogue on the implementation of Action Plans, especially those relating to the protection and promotion of religious freedom.
These actions will provide the framework for a successful response to the challenges of religious extremism.