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27.04.2006 General News

Congress Looks At Religious Freedom, Intolerance

By The Ghanaian Times

The second congress of International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA) has begun in Accra on the theme, "Religious Liberty: Co-existence in Peace and freedom in Diversity," in Accra.

It has brought together various experts and religious leaders to highlight the urgent cause of 'religious freedom' and how to combat religious intolerance.

In addition it will look at the need to make sure that religion is not used as a weapon of violence in view of the many conflicts in the world that have religious components.

Addressing it the Worldwide Secretary General of IRLA, Dr John Graz from the United States, noted that religious freedom was a basic human right, thus "you cannot defend religious freedom when you don't respect human rights."

He commended Ghana for her protection and provision of religious freedom .

Mr Graz expressed the hope that the congress would afford the participants the needed facility to maintain and aspire to have religious freedom in their countries.

The Minister of Fisheries, Mrs Gladys Asmah, who also addressed the function, called on religious bodies to embark on a secular evangelism to bring people closer to social amenities that are otherwise within reach.

She noted that sanitation is another area of concern that the churches and other religious bodies should consider.

The IRLA congress which was first held in Nairobi, Kenya, 15 years ago, aims at bringing religious leaders together to highlight the urgent cause of religious freedom.

This year's congress is being hosted by the Seventh Day Adventist Church, Ghana.

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