American Jewish Committee (AJC) has launched #8Nights4ReligiousRights, the global Jewish advocacy organization’s Hanukkah initiative in support of religious freedom around the world.

The eight-day Hanukah holiday, which begins Sunday evening with the lighting of the first candle in the menorah, celebrates the restoration of Jewish religious freedom in ancient Israel.

“Hanukkah has two universal messages,” said AJC CEO David Harris. “First, never take religious freedom for granted. We’re blessed in America, but we should always recall that our freedom also entails mutual respect and the principle of live and let live.

“Second, not everyone is as lucky as we are. In too many countries, freedom of religion is either non-existent or severely restricted. And in some places, being a religious minority can be downright dangerous.”

This year, AJC is highlighting the situation of eight religious communities under threat across the globe and encouraging people of all faiths to join in shining a light on the areas of the world where darkness remains, and the freedoms of religious communities are suppressed.

Details on each of the eight endangered communities and AJC’s support for them are at They include the Yazidis in Iraq, the Ecumenical Patriarch and Greek Orthodox Christians in Turkey, North Koreans, Baha’is in Iran, Coptic Christians in Egypt, Rohingya in Myanmar, religious minority groups in Pakistan, and Jews in Europe.

AJC, a longstanding leader in efforts to end discrimination, hatred, and the oppression of religious minorities, urges sharing #8Nights4ReligiousRights to show support for these communities and for religious freedom around the world.

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