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Western world adopting narrow views on religious freedom, Archbishop Chaput warns

August 25, 2010

Speaking in Slovakia to a conference of canon lawyers, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver said that Christians must resist the impulse in Western nations to treat religion as an “individual lifestyle accessory” while establishing “a society apart from God.”

Religious freedom, the archbishop warned, is being interpreted in increasingly narrow terms by secular opinion leaders. True religious freedom, he said, is not merely the freedom to worship; it also involves “the right to preach, teach, assemble, organize, and to engage society and its issues publicly, both as individuals and joined together as communities of faith.”

The American archbishop observed that secular societies today often view Christian beliefs as subversive insofar as they clash with accepted moral standards on issues such as the dignity of human life, marriage, and the family.


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