VATICAN - "Religious freedom, the path to peace" theme for 44th World Day for Peace

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – - “Religious freedom, the path to peace” is the theme chosen by Pope Benedict XVI for the celebration of the 2011 World Day of Peace. A statement issued by the Holy See Press Office presenting the theme said, " today in many parts of the world there exist various forms of restrictions or denials of religious freedom, from discrimination and marginalization based on religion, to acts of violence against religious minorities. Religious freedom is rooted in the equal and inherent dignity of man, it is oriented toward the search for «unchangeable truth», and thus can rightly be presented as the «freedom of freedoms». As such, religious freedom is authentically realised when it is experienced as the coherent search for the Truth and the truth of man."Anything which is opposed to the dignity of the human person, is opposed to the search for the truth, and can never be regarded as religious freedom, the Message said and continued “ Today there are many areas of the world in which forms of restrictions and limitations to religious freedom persist, both where communities of believers are a minority, and where communities of believers are not a minority, and where more sophisticated forms of discrimination and marginalization exist, on the cultural level and in the spheres of public civil and political participation. ”. In his address to the Assembly of the United Nations, 18 April 2008, Benedict XVI said: «It is inconceivable that believers should have to suppress a part of themselves – their faith – in order to be active citizens. It should never be necessary to deny God in order to enjoy one’s rights. The rights associated with religion are all the more in need of protection if they are considered to clash with a prevailing secular ideology or with majority religious positions of an exclusive nature» . (SL) (Agenzia Fides 13/7/2010)

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