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Scientology Church, Human Rights Group and Moscow Government Co-Sponsor International Marathon for Peace

12 September 2006 · Category: Human Rights

MOSCOW, RUSSIA: For the thousands of Russian runners who raced here on Sunday, world peace is not just a slogan — it is a mission.


Runners, participating in the 26th annual International Marathon for Peace in Moscow. The Marathon was co-sponsored by the Moscow government, the Church of Scientology of Moscow and Moscow's chapter of Youth for Human Rights International.

The Church of Scientology of Moscow joined the local Moscow chapter of Youth for Human Rights International and the Moscow government in organizing the 26th annual International Marathon for Peace.

When 60 runners carrying the flags of 45 countries joined the race in a symbolic message of peace, the idea of a world without the insanity of war and hatred and where human rights are a fact had already begun the shift from being an "idealistic dream" to "everyday fact."

The several thousand marathon runners who participated followed a route that trailed along the Moscow River as well as the walls of the Kremlin before they approached the finish line, where the triumphant finishers were welcomed by an all-day human rights concert.

Human Rights public service announcements, produced by the Church of Scientology International, which illustrate each of the 30 articles of the International Declaration of Human Rights, were aired between concert performances to a rave response.

On December 10, 1948 the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and called upon all member countries, "to cause it to be disseminated, displayed, read and expounded" based on the concept that "recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world."

Yet almost 60 years later, less than 10% of those surveyed know what their human rights are.

It was for this reason that Youth for Human Rights International began a campaign in 2001 to educate youth on the Universal Declaration and call for human rights education to be implemented in all schools, the world over. Their educational materials are geared for young people, and give a basic understanding of the 30 human rights outlined in the Universal Declaration, with examples that illustrate these rights in ways people of all ages relate to and in terms youth can understand.

Youth for Human Rights volunteers distributed thousands of copies of their booklet "What Are Human Rights?" to the gathered crowds.

L. Ron Hubbard once wrote: "Human Rights must be made a fact, not an idealistic dream."

A quick glance at international headlines shows that much is still needed to accomplish this goal, but thousands, united in Moscow in the name of peace and human rights, are now committed to making it happen.

Don't know your rights? Click here to find out.


A member of the militia, guarding the Marathon route, reads his copy of the booklet "What Are Human Rights?"


Representatives of 45 countries, bearing their countries' flags participated in the 26th annual International Marathon for Peace in Moscow.