May 2016: Religious Freedom Festival in Switzerland

May 2016: Religious Freedom Festival in Switzerland

"Unfortunately, 75% of the inhabitants of our planet do not have the privilege of Religious Freedom."

April 27, 2016 | Bern, Switzerland. | CD-EUDNEWS.

On Saturday, May 21 the first Religious Freedom Festival in Switzerland will be held in the Ticino Region, at the Adventist Church in Massagno.

Professor John Graz will be the special speaker, he is the former International Religious Freedom Association Secretary General (1995-2015) and former Director of the Public Affairs Department of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

Among the speakers there will be special guests, journalists and experts, professors in the field.

Some awards will be given to people who are committed to Human Rights.

We asked Pastor Giampiero Vassallo some questions, he is one of the main organizer of the event and responsible for Swiss Religious Freedom in the Ticino Region.

Q:  Why did you organize a Religious Freedom Festival?

A:  The answer is simple, because we have the privilege to live in a country where there is Religious Freedom, guaranteed by law and by the Constitution. Unfortunately, 75% of the inhabitants of our planet do not have that privilege.

The time has come to publicly thank Switzerland and thanks to the region of Ticino, for protecting our freedom.

It is time to say that we enjoy Religious Freedom and that we want to preserve this right. It's time to remember that every individual has the right to choose to be part of a religion or not.

This universal right was conquered with blood and tears and must be protected. So far more than 40 festivals have been organized in five continents, bringing together groups of 300 people to crowds of 45,000.

Those who believe in Religious Freedom are invited to participate in this first festival in Lugano to support ‘the mother of all freedoms’.

Q:  What expectations do you have from this festival?

A:  We want to raise interest in such a fundamental freedom and raise more solidarity with those who are persecuted around the world.

Q:  After the Festival, what goals do you have for the future of the Ticino Region?

The festival has two objectives:

1.To celebrate religious freedom in Ticino and Switzerland, to thank the people and the authorities for the freedom that we want to keep and protect;

2. To inform and raise awareness on worldwide religious freedom, the believers that suffer persecution in some parts of the world, and to create more solidarity.

Q:  What motivates you to fight for religious freedom?

A: According to the UN, it is a fundamental freedom. If we lose this right we will also lose others, such as freedom of expression etc. It is also a gift from God and a gift from the countries where we live. Men and women have died for this precious freedom.

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