Religious Liberty in the Americas (1 of 2)
Report Published by Aid to the Church in Need
ROME, JULY 25, 2006 (Zenit) - Here is an adapted excerpt from a 2006 report by the charity Aid to the Church in Need on religious freedom worldwide. Subsequent excerpts will appear in the coming days.
* * *
In the United States, the debate involving the conflict between two different ideas of the separation or distinction between religion and the state institutions is played out at the level of civil and individual rights.
The conflict between American society and the Islamic communities is no exception. The latter complain of attacks against their places of meeting and prayer. They pursue legal paths in their attempts to introduce Koranic law into the legal system as has happened in Canada.
In spite of reconciliation efforts, the murder and violence inflicted by FARC and ELN terrorists on religious exponents continues in Colombia.
Venezuela and Cuba
There appears to be increased tension between the state and the Catholic Church in Venezuela, while the socialist ideals inspiring the Cuban regime greatly reduce educational and social opportunities for free evangelization.
The Catholic Church's overall situation remains unchanged in Cuba. Although at least at a national level over recent months the authorities' attitude toward the Church has improved, it still operates within a situation that is objectively a difficult one.
Furthermore, throughout Latin America numerous pro-abortion associations and powerful centers for demographic control are launching an open challenge against pro-life culture, approving laws going against natural and Christian rights.
The Argentinian Constitution guarantees freedom of worship and decrees that the federal government "supports the faith of the Roman Apostolic Church." During 2005 no significant institutional changes were reported and the government contributes to the overall respect of religious freedom.
The government -- as requested by many -- is assessing the possibility of abolishing compulsory public registration for religious groups. The law currently establishes that churches and religious groups must register with the Secretariat for Cults just like nongovernmental organization, and this provision, decreed during the military dictatorship, does not concern the Catholic Church.
Tension and disagreements were reported in February in relations between the government and the Holy See concerning events involving Bishop Antonio Baseotto, the military chaplain general. The Church also spoke out openly against the government's decision to liberalize abortion in all circumstances.
In the course of the year a number of anti-Semitic attacks were reported as well as some against Muslims. In its yearly report on anti-Semitism, the Center for Social Studies reported 174 acts of vandalism against Jewish cemeteries, as well as verbal offenses and threats over the Internet addressed to Jewish institutions.
In Bolivia too the constitution recognizes freedom of worship and the government respects this right.
The good relations existing between the various religious groups present in the country guarantee an atmosphere of tolerance and peaceful coexistence. Mennonites, Mormons, Adventists, Baptists, Pentecostals, Methodists and many other evangelical groups maintain a significant number of missionaries who implement widespread proselytizing activities.
Brazil is experiencing a very conflictual moment between the Church and the government concerning abortions laws. In a document, the episcopal conference expressed "total disagreement with the draft laws attempting to decriminalize abortion" in the country, referring to legislation currently under discussion addressed at acknowledging for women the so-called right to abortion.
According to the episcopate, "a draft law allowing the elimination of an innocent and defenseless human being is inadmissible. Any talk of human rights thereby becomes incoherent, since it contradicts itself defending other rights when it denies the primordial right to be born and to live." In December the bishops launched a public appeal asking the population to strongly protest against this legislation.
On Feb. 12 a 70-year-old American missionary belonging to the Order of the Sisters of Notre Dame of Namur, Sister Dorothy Stang, was murdered. It appears that the instigators of this murder -- which took place near Anapu, in the state of Parŕ -- were a group of "fazendeiros" opposed to the work of this nun, who -- as reported by the Missionary Service News Agency -- was known for her commitment to the poor.
Led by Edir Bezerra Macero, the neo-Pentecostal Church has reported the highest increase in believers among all existing evangelical churches. It was founded in Rio de Janeiro in 1977, and according to reliable estimates provided by scholars in this sector, it counts more than 2 million believers in Brazil, and over half a million abroad.
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000
Liberty, Religious, Freedom, Aid, Church
More Catholic PRWire
Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718
A Recession Antidote
Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.
Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell
Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell
Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Franchising to Evangelize
Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Three words to a deeper faith
Relections for Lent 2009
Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell
World Food Program Director on Lent
Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Glimpse of Me
The 3 stages of life
Sex and the Married Woman
A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Modernity & Morality
Just a Minute
Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Edging God Out
Burying a St. Joseph Statue
George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell
Easter... A Way of Life
Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
by Catholic Online
- Daily Reading for Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 HD Video
- 'Living Lent': Monday of the First Week of Lent - Day 5
- St. Simon: Saint of the Day for Sunday, February 18, 2018
- Daily Readings for Sunday, February 18, 2018
- Deadly Flu Season: Vaccine only 36 percent effective during worst ...
- Try this fun Lent Quiz today!
- 'Living Lent': Tuesday of the First Week of Lent - Day 6
- Daily Reading for Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Monday, February 19th, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Sunday, February 18th, 2018 HD
- Daily Reading for Saturday, February 17th, 2018 HD
Learn about Catholic world
Inform - Inspire - Ignite
Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained
Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need
Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online
Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye
Today's bible reading
Products and services we offer
Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books
The California Network
Inspiring streaming service
Learn the Catholic way
Teacher lesson plans & resources
Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education