VATICAN CITY, JAN. 14, 2001 (ZENIT.org) .-
John Paul II denounced violations to religious liberty taking placing in Indonesia, as well as in Marxist and Islamic countries, and claimed the right of every believer to witness his faith publicly.
The Holy Father referred to religious liberty when he met Saturday with diplomats accredited to the Vatican. During the meeting, the Pope said that the Catholic Church is more determined than ever “to defend man, his dignity, his rights, and his transcendent dimension.”
“Even if some are reluctant to refer to the religious dimension of human beings and human history, even if others want to consign religion to the private sphere, even if believing communities are persecuted, Christians will still proclaim that religious experience is part of human experience,” the Holy Father stressed.
John Paul II added that religion “is a vital element for the construction of the person and the society to which men belong.”
In particular, the Pontiff mentioned the “tragic experience of the Christian community in Indonesia, and the blatant discrimination suffered by believing communities, both Christian and non-Christian, in some countries under Marxist or Islamic control, [which] summons us to vigilance and unfailing solidarity.”