Bucharest: One Community and Several Faiths

As the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) approaches, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Romania, the Association for Conscience and Liberty, the International Religious liberty Association (IRLA), the Ministry of Culture and Religions, and the Secretary of State for Religious Affairs sponsored and organized events in several cities of Romania. On Sabbath, October 25, 2008, a successful Festival of Religious Freedom was held in the Cultural Center of the regional capital city of Bakau. The festival was attended by 700 people. It was followed by two symposiums for regional and local authorities and religious representatives in the city of Ploiesti, October 28, and Alexandria, October 30. A training seminar about religious freedom and the role of churches in the community was organized October 31 to November 1. Viorel Dima, Secretary General of the Association for Conscience and Liberty said: “As the world is commemorating the 60th anniversary of the UDHR, we should not forget that one ofthe most important Articles of the Declaration, Article 18, is on religiousfreedom. The symposiums we have organized with the support of officialinstitutions are our way to serve our community and to promote peace andrespect for each other in spite of our different faiths and beliefs.”DrJohn Graz, Secretary General of the IRLA, stated that: “The Association for Conscienceand Liberty has brought an outstandingcontribution to religious freedom and peace in Romania year after year.”Duringthese last five years, nearly 100 national, regional, and local symposiums have been held in about 40 cities. During these symposiums, representatives of State institutions such as police, prison guards, the army, and city leaders, as well as religious organizations and churches, were encouraged to cooperate for the good of their communities. An official called these activities “One of the most valuable contributions of the Adventists to Romanian society.”