Venezuela: Launch of National Religious Liberty Association

November 3, 2001. Barquisimeto, Venezuela... Venezuela's first national association dedicated to the promotion and defense of religious liberty launched on November 3. The Venezuela Religious Liberty Association was constituted at the Chamber of Commerce hall in Barquisimeto with over a hundred founder members present.

"More now than ever, religious liberty is a vital issue," says Julio Palacio, one of the founder members. "We are delighted to be associated with the development of this new association dedicated to freedom of conscience and the right to the free exercise of belief."

The intention is to gain full legal status and recognition from the national government as a civil organization dedicated to heightening awareness of religious liberty as a fundamental human right.

Elected president of the new association is Dr. Brigido Barrios, a prominent lawyer from Caracas. His longstanding commitment to concepts of religious freedom is widely-appreciated, having written extensively on these issues, says Palacio. Barrios' paper, "What is Religious Liberty?" will be available shortly in Spanish on the International Religious Liberty Association's website at www.irla.org. The IRLA is the coordinating association for all such national religious liberty associations around the world. [Jonathan Gallagher/IRLA News]