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Religious Liberty Protection Comes From Grass Roots, Experts Say



Government important, but people "on the ground" essential (Posted April 25, 2012)

BY MARK A. KELLNER, News Editor, Adventist Review, reporting from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Whether it's involvement in local religious freedom issues or helping to change the situation for believers in Laos or Vietnam, the presence of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private citizens is essential to the promotion and protection of religious liberty, three experts said April 24, 2012.

Speaking at the International Religious Liberty Association's Seventh World Congress in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Knox Thames, Director of Policy and Research for the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (CIRF); Ambassador Robert Seiple, president of the Center for America's First Freedom and an IRLA board member; and Richard T. Foltin, Director of National and Legislative Affairs for the American Jewish Committee each stressed the need for grass-roots efforts in support of religious liberty for all.

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In World Fields, Religious Liberty is Often a Hard Struggle



Imprisonment, death, police raids not uncommon, IRLA panel discloses (Posted April 26, 2012)

BY MARK A. KELLNER, News Editor, Adventist Review, reporting from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
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It's one thing to lose a job because of one's religious beliefs. It's quite another to be deprived of your freedom -- or even your life.

Those are perhaps the most extreme challenges facing believers of many different faiths around the world today, and the situation can sometimes change without warning or even explanation, attendees at the Seventh World Congress of the International Religious Liberty Association heard on April 25, 2012.

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For Many of World's Women, Needed Rights Often Involve More Than Faith



Religious liberty congress hears of emerging issues (Posted April 26, 2012)

BY LIBNA STEVENS, Inter-American Division

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In a world where over half the population is female, issues concerning women's rights were a prevalent matter which concern religious liberty leaders. How to treat those issues, including whether or not secularism could advance the cause of women’s religious liberty around the world was the main topic of discussion among a group of leaders and delegates at the 7th IRLA World Congress in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Apr. 24, 2012.

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Human Rights Advocate to Present Muslim Perspectives on Religious Freedom


William Johnsson, Public Affairs and Religious Liberty staff

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, April 25 … Amjad B. Shammout, a prominent human rights advocate based in Amman, Jordan, will present a Muslim perspective on religious freedom when he addresses the 7th International Congress of the International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA) on April 26.

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World Religious Freedom Congress Opens With Call to Avoid Secular Society’s Lead


Close to 900 delegates meet in Dominican Republic for seventh world event (Posted April 24, 2012)
BY MARK A. KELLNER, News Editor, Adventist Review, reporting from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

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HUMAN DIGNITY STRESSED: "We are here because we believe in human dignity, and religious freedom is part of human dignity. Religious freedom is part of God's gift of love for all people and everywhere," said John Graz, secretary-general of the International Religious Liberty Association, sponsored by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, in opening the group's Seventh World Congress in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, on April 24, 2012. [Mark A. Kellner/Adventist Review]

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