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OSCE makes religious freedom a high priority

Catholic World News - January 23, 2012

The protection of human freedoms, including religious freedom, is an essential factor in European security, argues the president of the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE).

Petros Efthymiou, who led an OSCE delegation in a January 23 visit to the Vatican, said that the stability of Europe is protected not by military means, but by ensuring democratic rule and the defense of human rights. In talks with Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Vatican’s Secretary for Relations with States, he emphasized the defense of religious rights. The OSCE leader said that the group’s approach to religious freedom is “fully harmonized with the Holy See’s position.”

The OSCE was established in 1975 to promote freedom and democracy. Since the fall of the Communist regimes in Eastern Europe, Efthymiou observed, OSCE has continued its commitment to strengthening human rights and to ensuring fair and open democratic elections.

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