Friday, March 04, 2011

Vatican representative in Geneva: statement on religious freedom

Kevin Clarke at America Magazine reports that Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, the Permanent Representative of the Holy See to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva issued a statement on the requirement of religious freedom that is especially pertinent in light of the assassination March 1 of Pakistani Minorities Minister Shahbaz Bhatti. Archbishop Silvano points out: "Religious strife is a danger to social, political, and economic development. Religious conflict polarizes society, breaking the bonds necessary for social life and commerce to flourish".

He also suggested that: The Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion could be invited regularly to include information on persecution of religious groups. It would be helpful if the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner of Human Rights were to monitor the situation of governmental and societal restrictions on religious freedom and report annually to the Human Rights Council.