Glendon: Democracy Needs Religious Liberty

Conference to Evaluate Freedom in the Americas

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MEXICO CITY, SEPT. 18, 2009 ( There is a very strong link between religious liberty and the preservation of a democratic state, according to the former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See.

Mary Ann Glendon, a law professor at Harvard University, affirmed this link when she discussed an international symposium to be held Sept. 25-26 in Mexico City.

«Voices: The Secular State and Religious Liberty» will consider the state of religious freedom on the whole American continent.

The event will cover «a variety of topics, from the application of religious liberty in an international context, to specific issues in several countries of the American continent,» organizers explained.

Experts from Canada to Chile will focus on philosophical principles, historical antecedents and challenges that religious liberty faces in American countries, particularly Mexico.
Glendon, one of the participants, underscored the importance of the symposium: «Historical experience indicates that there is a very high correlation between religious liberty and the maintenance of a democratic state that respects individual liberty, equality, and a regime of law, and which attends to the needs of the most disadvantaged citizens.»
Another participant, Carl Anderson, supreme knight of the Knights of Columbus, said: «Religious liberty is a fundamental right, the heart of human rights and the cornerstone of a healthy democracy.
«The symposium ‘Voices’ should be the conference to be attended by all those interested in safeguarding liberty and justice in all the Americas, from Canada to Argentina.»
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