This report provides an overview of international humanitarian law’s protections for religious sites in conflict zones. The Geneva Conventions and their accompanying Protocols establish that religious sites may not be used for military purposes or targeted for destruction unless the strict conditions articulated in the distinction principle, the proportionality principle, and the precautionary principle are met. This report also documents cases in which parties involved in armed conflicts have targeted religious sites, including during the Burmese civil war, the Israel-Hamas conflict, the conflict between the Nigerian government and U.S.-designated Entities of Particular Concern, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the Sudanese civil war.

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