Archbishop Kaigama urges UN to suggest appointment of ministers of religious freedom to member countries

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The Catholic Archbishop of Jos, Most Revd (Dr) Ignatius Kaigama, has asked the United Nations (UN) to suggest to member countries, the appointment of ministers of religious freedom.

Kaigama made the call while attending the UN International Religious Freedom Panel Discussion at ECOSOC Chamber, UN Headquarters, New York, United States.

The theme was “International Religious Freedom: A New Era for Advocacy in Response to a New Age of Challenges and Threats.”

The call by the immediate past President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), was as a result of the growing menace of religious conflicts across the world.

Kaigama noted that human beings were killed in the name of religion, saying that sanctity, not sentiments, must prevail in matters of religion.

He said President Muhammadu Buhari who had just been re-elected for a second term in office, must do more to help detoxify the minds of people poisoned by religious prejudices and indoctrination.

This, Kaigama added, is to enable them engage others as fellow human beings with dignity and respect.

“Sanctity not sentiments must prevail in matters of religion. Human beings are being killed in the name of religion. This is wrong! This is bad! No matter what the motivation could be.

“The newly re-elected President of Nigeria must do more to help detoxify the minds of people poisoned by religious prejudices and indoctrination so that they can engage others as fellow human being with dignity and respect.

“We need more Ambassadors of Religious Freedom. The United Nations could suggest to its member countries to have Ministers of Religious Freedom,” Kaigama wrote on his Facebook page.

Earlier during the proceedings, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, who was represented by the Deputy Permanent Observer and Charge d’Affaires, Monsignor Tomasz Grysa, said despite the robust understanding and protection of the right to religious freedom in international law, it had been witnessed across the globe, various severe, routine acts of intolerance, discrimination, persecution and even genocide against religious believers on account of the beliefs they hold.

He added that there had been a steady rise in acts of violent anti-Semitism such as those who were gunned down on in a supermarket in Paris, or in a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

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