Two different themes accompanied this 2nd day of religious freedom in Lausanne and Neuchâtel. In Lausanne , "Religious Freedom: Gift of God and Conquest of Man" and the « watchmakers' country side », "Freedom of welcome: welcoming others without judgment". The two topics were intended to raise public awareness of the need to position oneself as to the values of religious freedom in our society.
Current events that challenge the religious world and distress the faith of believers of all stripes are regularly on the front page. The proliferation of extremism threatens citizens' trust in government institutions at the risk of social implosion. Respect for the principles of secularism and relations with the religious world are the order of the day in the canton of Vaud and Neuchâtel.
In the canton of Vaud, the law on the recognition of religious communities and on relations between the State and religious communities recognized as being of public interest, adopted by the Vaud Parliament on 9 January 2007, is already in force in the state as of January 1, 2011.
In this regard and the Adventist Church of Lausanne, the intervention of the Delegate for Religious Affairs of the Canton of Vaud and close collaborator of the State Councilor in charge of the file, Ms. Béatrice Métraux, has attracted the attention of the public ran in numbers for the occasion. Mr. Golaz emphasized the need for believers to live in peace with one another while respecting their differences. In his opinion, meetings between communities are a priority way of achieving this goal.
This intervention was followed by a lecture given by Dr. John Graz, former Secretary General of the International Religious Liberty Association (AIDLR) from 1995 to 2015 and current director of CILRAP - (International Center for Religious Liberty and Religious Liberty). Public Affairs) on the Adventist campus of Collonges-sous-Saleve in France, which had the following statement: "Religious Freedom: Gift of God, conquest of man ».
In his remarks, the speaker argued that God has given man freedom of choice from the moment of his creation, and this freedom is accompanied by the responsibility of his own choices. Jesus Christ, supreme reference for Christians, practiced this freedom. History teaches us the long journey of this quest for freedom to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
David Jennah, current President of AIDLR, spoke on the complex relationship between freedom and religion in history and the need for a sustained commitment to promoting religious freedom.
At the end of the ceremonial part, the afternoon was completed and punctuated by a concert given by the internationally renowned Brazilian pianist, Richard Octaviano Kojima, passing through Switzerland for the occasion, thus passing the torch and closing this day, a snack worthy of the principles of the best hotel schools in the world.
On the Neuchâtel side and in November 2017, the Grand Conseil Neuchâtelois accepted by 71 votes to 35 the introduction on the bill, but decided in the wake of the send back to committee.
Parliament wishes to pursue certain issues. In the canton, where state and religion are separated, the Reformed evangelical, Christian Catholic and Roman Catholic churches are the only denominational communities to be recognized. Other communities from Christian, Muslim, Jewish or Buddhist religious currents are not yet. This bill on the recognition of religious communities reflects the concern of the Neuchâtel State Council to preserve religious peace. For State Councilor Laurent Kurth, this project should enable the canton to harmonize the integration of all components of its community.
During this 2nd edition, many speakers came to bring their vision of freedom of reception and integration of migrants and its meaning in our society supported by the message of the cantonal authorities of the Republic and Canton of Neuchâtel and the official representative of the State Secretariat for Migration. (SEM).
In order, MM. Perekrestenko - Director of ADRA - Focused on the field work of the Adventist NGO, Rickson Nobre - Secretary of the FSRT - campaigned for the integration of foreigners in Switzerland and the will of the Church Adventist to remain a moving movement towards others, and Emmanuel Ziehli - Director of Radio-Eveil - emphasized the usefulness of the radio medium as a tool for creating links between communities and between men.
At the same time, 3 guests came to present their commitment on this subject and in order, MM. Adamo Tungisa, Pastor of the Church Vineyard the Grace of Neuchâtel, Racen Bouzguenda, Director of the Cultural Association of Muslims of Neuchâtel and Dominik Frikart, Vice-President of the Christian Council of the churches of the canton of Vaud.
The hot and rhythmic voices of the French Choir "Echo of the Heart" of Montpellier put an end to this 2018 edition of religious freedom in Neuchâtel.
• Next Appointment
21 June 2018 - Religious Liberty Gala Dinner in Geneva (more precise information follow).