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John Paul II appeals to Iran for religious freedom


Pope John Paul II has appealed to Iranian authorities to respect the religious freedom of Christians and of all their citizens, when he received Tehran's new ambassador to the Holy See.

Mohammed Javad Faridzadeh, the new ambassador, has been working as the Iranian president's special representative for international cultural and political issues.

Addressing the ambassador in French, the Pope requested "the support of the Iranian authorities to allow the faithful of the Catholic Church present in Iran, as well as other Christians, the freedom to profess their religion."

The Holy Father also called for "recognition of the juridical personality of the ecclesiastical institutions, in order to facilitate their work within Iranian society."

Among the fundamental rights, in the first place is "the right to religious freedom, which is an essential aspect of freedom of conscience and which reveals, precisely, the transcendental dimension of the person," he said during today's audience.

"Freedom of worship is an aspect of religious freedom, which must be extended to all the citizens of the country," the Pope added.

On 12 February, a congress was held in Rome to mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Holy See and Iran. The vast majority of Iran's 69 million people are Shiite Muslims; Catholics number only 23,000.

Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, Vatican secretary for relations with states, said on Vatican Radio that "the Holy See is ready to defend and protect its freedom of conscience, faith [and] religion, lived both individually as well as in community."

SOURCE
John Paul II Appeals to Iran for Religious Freedom (Zenit 29/10/04)

LINKS
Pope: Building peace implies courageous action against terrorism (Missionary Service News Agency 29/10/04)
The Pope addresses participants at the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace plenary: "In our day characterised by globalisation of the social question, the Church urges everyone to recognise and affirm the centrality of the human person in every ambit and manifestation of sociality" (Fides 29/10/04)
Pope Points to 2 Factors in Fight Against Terrorism (Zenit 29/10/04)
Pope Sees Need for Socially Committed Saints (Zenit 29/10/04)
Compendium helps cause of justice, "opens people up to the horizons of charity," says Pope (Catholic News Agency 29/10/04)
Promote religious freedom, says Pope to Iran (Catholic News Agency 29/10/04)
Pope to meet with Iraqi prime minister at Vatican (AsiaNews.it 30/10/04)
Pope to meet Iraqi leader (Catholic World News 30/10/04)
Pope prods Iran on peace, proliferation, religious freedom (Catholic World News 29/10/04)
Pope encourages justice-and-peace work (Catholic World News 29/10/04)
Iran: Religious freedom for all citizens (Vatican Information Service 29/10/04)
Living the church's social doctrine in our daily lives (Vatican Information Service 29/10/04)


32 Nov 2004