The Charter on the rights to religious freedom published before the international summit
People paddle along the Potomac River in Washington on June 25, 2021. This year’s International Religious Summit will be held in the nation’s capital from July 13-15. (SNC Photo / Tyler Orsburn)
WASHINGTON (CNS) – Religious freedom advocates have issued a charter declaring the right of everyone in the world to freely believe – or not to believe – in religious principles and to join others in a community religious and for believers and religious communities to live in peace in society.
Entitled “A Charter for Religious Freedom,” the document was released ahead of the International Religious Freedom Summit scheduled in the nation’s capital and online July 13-15.
The three-day summit will feature prominent religious leaders and religious freedom advocates in a series of speeches, discussions and programs focused on the vital need to protect religious freedom around the world.
Bishop David J. Malloy of Rockford, Illinois, chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops‘ Committee on International Justice and Peace, greeted the summit in a June 9 statement.
“This summit aims to raise awareness of international religious freedom in the United States and to bring together a broad coalition that will work together for the cause of religious freedom around the world,” he said.
The committee is one of the summit’s sponsors and has more than 40 organizations convening the event. Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, chairman of the Bishops Committee for Religious Freedom, will deliver a speech at the summit.
The charter sets out a series of statements describing where the rights to the free exercise of religion originate, the widespread challenges to religious freedom internationally, and how securing religious freedom can enhance justice, stability and justice. international peace.
He declares: “that every government, every religious community and every political and civil society organization in the world should strive to achieve the goal of achieving freedom of religion and conscience, for all, everywhere – protected by law and valued by culture.
Religious freedom, he continues, must be understood by three “interconnected levels” of rights:
– “The right of every human being to believe freely in religious truths, or not to believe in them, without constraint by any human authority, in particular the State with its extraordinary powers.
– “The right to join with other members of the religious community, which also has religious freedom”, including the right to build places of worship, to train the clergy, to establish religious schools and to develop and to defend religious doctrines. “
– “The right of believers and religious communities to live and act peacefully, within civil and political society in accordance with their religious convictions”.
The charter concludes by calling on the leaders of nations, international organizations, religions, non-governmental organizations, media organizations and political and political entities to “begin now to adopt practical steps towards the goal of achieving religious freedom for all, everywhere ”.
The summit itself features 50 presenters and speakers representing various religious traditions, including Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, Iraq, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop Anba Angaelos of London, and Greek Orthodox Archbishop Elpidophoros of America.
The Dalai Lama, as well as Republican and Democratic members of the US Congress, a Holocaust survivor, representatives of Islamic and Eastern religions. and human rights and civil rights activists will also speak.
The summit also offers a young leader track, with opportunities to receive training on human rights advocacy, developing advocacy projects and connecting with others.
The summit co-chairs are Sam Brownback, United States Ambassador for International Religious Freedom 2008-2021, and Katrina Lantos Swett, President of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice.
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Editor’s note: The full text of the charter and more information is available online at irfsummit.com.