03 February 2012 Zagreb, Croatia [Adventpress Newsletter; tedNEWS] World Day of Religious Freedom in Croatia was marked by an award ceremony on 28th January 2012 at the "Four Points" Hotel in Zagreb which was organised by the Association for religious freedom in the Republic of Croatia. More than two hundred participants, among whom were senior representatives of religious communities and members of the Croatian Government, celebrated human and religious freedom as a fundamental human right, which is an essential component of human dignity.
Dr John Graz, Secretary General, International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA), Raafat Kamal, IRLA Regional Secretary for Europe, Dr Slobodan Lang, President of the Assembly of the Association, and President of the Association Ljiljana Matkovi?-Vlasi?, addressed those assembled. Matkovi?-Vlasi? with frank words and visible emotion thanked the former Secretary of the Association, Velimir Šubert for his dedicated work and welcomed the new Secretary, Dragutin Matak.
On this occasion many awards were given in recognition of valiant efforts that have been made in promoting religious freedom and tolerance. Among the award recipients was the Croatian president Dr Ivo Josipovi?, as well as a world-renowned theologian and proponent of world peace and ethics Dr Hans Küng. Awards have been also given to Redžo Hamzi?, Dr Aziz Hasanovi?, Tihomir Kukolja, Dr Don Stanko Lasi?, Srdjan Skunca and Josip Taka?.
At the end of the ceremony Dragutin Matak, the programme organiser, concluded: "We do not wish to curry favour with anyone by giving these prestigious awards to these brave people, but to encourage more people to keep and nurture human and religious freedom. We have tried to tell everybody: 'When you stand up for the freedom that God gives to every human being, then you are in good company.' " [tedNEWS]
tedNEWS Staff: Miroslav Pujic, director; Deana Stojkovic, editor
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