Prince Charles: Embed religious freedom in school culture or risk ‘totalitarian society’
His comments came as he opened the International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief on Tuesday, attended by more than 600 delegates from 100 countries and multilateral organisations around the world.
They included Ephraim Mirvis, the Chief Rabbi, the Most Rev Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Sheikh Abdallah Bin-bayyah, an Islamic scholar, and Archbishop Bashar Warda of the Chaldean Catholic Church in Erbil, Iraq.
In a pre-recorded video statement, Prince Charles warned that the world is “at crossroads between totalitarian and liberal societies” as he called for freedom of religious belief to be embedded in education, business and on social media.
‘We stand at a crossroads’
The Prince told the conference, organised by the Foreign Office and held at the Queen Elizabeth II conference centre in London: “The rights to freedom of religion or belief is enshrined in article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“We must do all in our collective power to ensure that this commitment is met with deeds, not just words. This essential principle must be embedded in government, education, business, the media, and social media and right across our communities. For the next two days, you will be taking that all-important task forward.
“We stand at a crossroads, ladies and gentlemen. There is a choice to be made between totalitarian and liberal societies.
“The lights of our collective faith can do much to illuminate the darkness in our world. That is why I’m so hugely encouraged by your coming together so that you can share your experiences and your values and reinforce the rights to be free.”
More than 80 per cent of the world’s population live in countries where freedom of religious belief is under threat.
Religion ‘collateral damage’ of Ukraine war
Liz Truss, the Foreign Secretary, also gave a keynote address to the conference and described freedom of religious belief as “fundamental” and akin to free speech or democracy.
In her speech, the minister criticised the “appalling persecution of the Jewish community over centuries”, China’s targeting of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region, the persecution of Christians in Nigeria and the plight of minorities in Afghanistan.
She referred to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the impact it has on people’s ability to practice their faith, saying the UK would not rest until “your people are free to live, believe and thrive”.
She added: “Innocent civilians are having to shelter from Russia’s indiscriminate bombardment in places of worship. Churches, synagogues, and mosques have been reduced to rubble. Religion is proving to be collateral damage from Putin’s aggression.”
Reference: The Telegraph: Gabriella Swerling
- FBI: Polygamous leader had 20 wives, many of them minors
- Protests erupt after Indonesia bans sex outside marriage
- Ukraine searches Orthodox Church premises for pro-Russian material
- Beyond beliefs: does religious faith lead to a happier, healthier life?
- Thai Buddhist temple runs out of monks after all are dismissed for failing DRUG TESTS
- Asian faiths try to save swastika symbol corrupted by Hitler
- Sacred Mysteries: The structural honesty of the Last of the Goths
- ‘Shame!’: Tourist pelted with water by angry mob after climbing sacred Mayan temple
- Pope compares Russia's war in Ukraine to 1930s famine inflicted by Stalin
- Pope appoints Archbishop Claudio Gugerotti prefect of the office for the Oriental Churches
- Pope sacks leadership of worldwide Catholic charity, names commissioner
- Clinging to ancient faith, India tribes seek religion status
- Turkish ‘cult leader’ Oktar sentenced to 8,658 years in prison
- Gay couple who were turned away by 31 churches finally have dream wedding
- Bill to protect equal marriage clears hurdle in US Senate with support from dozen Republicans
- Mormon church voices support for same-sex marriage law
- Religious leaders join world-first inter-faith ceremony on climate change
- Pope marks Day of the Poor by hosting hundreds for lunch at Vatican
- Praying the rosary: Understanding the tradition that helps Catholics meditate on Jesus and Mother Mary
- What is Gurpurab? Sikhs celebrate Guru Nanak Jayanti
- Let There Be Light
- Plants that feel and Speak
- The Singing Forest
- The Singing Forest-2
- Using Essential Oils for Spiritual Connection
- Heaven Scent
- Plants that Feel and Speak-2
- Making the Spiritual Connection
- The Sanctity of Plants
- The Aroma Of Worship - Introduction
- Essential Oils: The unseen Energies
- The Aroma Of Worship-Foreward
- Methods Of Use
- Handling and Storage
- Spiritual Blending