Christian Leaders in Mexico Decry Protest at Mass

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MEXICO CITY, MAY 6, 2011 ( Christian leaders in Mexico representing 17 churches released a joint statement urging the government to protect freedom of religion.

The seven-point statement responded to a situation in which a handful of protestors interrupted Easter Sunday Mass in the cathedral of Mexico City. Six or seven people shouted anti-life and anti-Church slogans during the Mass, and destroyed an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The protestors were detained by police and subsequently released.

The Catholic Church was represented in the statement by the secretary-general of the episcopal conference.

Noting that a state «must make an effort not only to attend to [citizens’] physical needs, but to give the necessary guarantees for their spiritual development,» the Christian leaders stated that «it is not enough for the state to endorse its citizens’ freedom of worship.»

«[I]t must foster and guarantee true religious liberty, which, unfortunately, we still do not see reflected in our laws,» they said.

The statement reminded that religious liberty is «not a benevolent concession of the state but a fundamental human right.»

«On this depends, to a great extent,» they said, «the peace and tranquility that millions of us Mexicans deserve.»

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