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StateSec Grigore: Romania will always be a supporter and promoter of religious freedom, tolerance

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maria magdalena grigore

State Secretary Maria Magdalena Grigore stressed on Thursday at the ministerial conference dedicated to the promotion of religious freedom organized by the US State Department, the fact that Romania will always be a supporter and promoter of religious freedom, as well as of the spirit of tolerance, the Foreign Ministry (MAE) informs. 

According to a press release issued by the MAE, State Secretary for Inter-institutional Relations, Development and Humanitarian Affairs Maria Magdalena Grigore, attended the second edition of Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, organized by the US State Department. The conference brought together over 100 ministers of foreign and senior government officials from all over the world. Participants discussed the current challenges of religious freedom and analyzed and identified concrete ways to combat religious persecution. 

The ministerial meeting, hosted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, is the biggest event of its kind in the world. 

Attending the meeting was also US Vice President Mike Pence. He reaffirmed international commitments to promote freedom of religion and focused on concrete results that produce lasting and positive changes. 

During the conference, State Secretary Maria Magdalena Grigore stressed that Romania will always be a supporter and promoter of religious freedom, as well as of the spirit of tolerance. 

"We believe that ethnic and religious diversity represent a source of development that enriches every culture or society. Pope Francis' recent visit to Romania confirmed the interconfessional harmony in our country, and it was an opportunity for us to show the solid relationship between the state and the religious cults. (...) We have a moral obligation to defend this right, to protect those who cannot enjoy it and to support efforts aimed at promoting religious freedom," said Maria Magdalena Grigore, according to the press release. 

At the same time, the Romanian official stated that "education has the most important role in developing the society's resilience to religious intolerance." 

The participants also discussed the International Religious Freedom Fund, established at the ministerial conference last year, which now provides emergency assistance to victims of discrimination and religious abuse throughout the world. Also, after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's call last year, partner governments hosted regional conferences dedicated to this topic. 

On the occasion of this event, US Ambassador to the Holy See Callista L. Gingrich announced that in October this year, as a direct result of this ministerial conference, the United States and the Holy See will host a symposium in Rome, which will have as theme the protection of religious freedom. 

Romania has joined two of the conference's statements. The first refers to respect for religion and belief, and the second to the protection of prayer quarters, the MAE mentions. 

Last year, on July 24-26, the US State Department invited representatives of 80 governments, more than 175 civil society representatives, and over 100 religious leaders to attend the first Ministerial Conference on Religious Freedom. 

At the end of the 2018 meeting, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo launched the Potomac Declaration and the Plan of Action, reflecting the importance of promoting religious freedom as a universal right of man. The Potomac Plan of Action provides a roadmap for achieving this goal, the release reads.

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