Sacrilege is any abuse or violation of a person, place or thing consecrated to a deity (and thus deemed sacred). Irreverence for an object is not, on its own, sacrilege. Conflicting religious ideologies commonly accuse one another of sacrilegious acts, such as theft or misuse of sacred objects, desecration of sacred sites, and maltreatment of religious leaders.
Anti-religious political ideologies, such as communism, are reputed to have committed sacrilege against churches. Archaeological excavations, in Jerusalem for example, are a source of accusations of sacrilege, as are military manoeuvres. When, in 1984, the Indian army attacked the Sikh temple at Amritsar in an attempt to rout the armed guard there, officials could not deny the degree of sacrilege involved.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
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