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Promote religious freedom: Vatican Diwali message

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue writes that when religious freedom is hampered or denied "all other human rights are endangered", reports the Catholic News Service.

Image from a Diwali festival market, on Flickr Image from a Diwali festival market, on Flickr
  • India
  • October 21, 2011
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A top Vatican official called on Christians and Hindus to work together in promoting religious freedom, said a Catholic News Service report on NCR. The call was contained in an annual message to mark the Hindu celebration of Diwali next week.

The lack of religious freedom is "taking center stage in many places, calling our attention to those members of our human family exposed to bias, prejudice, hate propaganda, discrimination and persecution on the basis of religious affiliation," wrote Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

The freedom to "profess, practice and propagate" one's religious belief "is the answer to religiously motivated conflicts in many parts of the world," especially as so many people desperately seek full human development and peaceful coexistence with others, he wrote.

The cardinal's letter, released by the Vatican Oct. 20, said when religious freedom is hampered or denied "all other human rights are endangered."

An AFP report on Google News said the message comes as the number of Christians persecuted in certain regions of India rises.

From the state of Orissa in the east to Kerala in the southwest, the conversion of Dalit or Untouchables to the Christian faith has sparked violence, with groups of extremist Hindus attacking Christians and their churches.

FULL STORY

Vatican official urges Hindus, Christians to promote religious freedom (National Catholic Reporter/Catholic News Service)

Vatican asks Hindus to fight anti-Christian propaganda (Google News/AFP)

PHOTO CREDIT

yeowatzup on Flickr

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