Religious leaders gathered last week at the Church of Scientology of Bogotá for an interreligious prayer service and to sign the Interconfessional Declaration of Religious Freedom in Colombia.
Among those participating were Dr. Muhammad Sadiq, leader of the Al-Reza Mosque; Rev. Juan Bautista García, Director of Public Affairs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Monsignor Orlando Salamanca, Bishop of the Anglican Church Regina Apostolorum (Free Anglican Communion); Father Fabio Camacho, Episcopal Vicar of the Iglesia Misioneros Veteros Nuestra Señora de la Alegría; Eka Kanta Das, representative of Krishna West Colombia; Xiomara Parra, vice president of the Wicca Colombia Community; A'jkij Malati Díaz, priestess of the Mayan People in Colombia; Rabbi Richard Gamboa, General Secretary of the Interreligious Council of Colombia and rabbi of Manhíg de Shéguel (Liberal Judaism); Rev. Julio Jaimes of the Church of Scientology Colombia, and Paola González, President of the Church of Scientology Colombia.
Following prayers, the leader of each faith represented signed the Declaration, which urges respect for freedom of worship, religion and conscience—rights recognized by international human rights covenants and incorporated in the National Constitution of Colombia.
In the document, religious leaders stressed the pivotal role of religious freedom: that when religious freedom is restricted, all other freedoms and rights are in jeopardy.
They called on the people of Colombia to create and defend a culture of respect and peace—one that does not tolerate hatred and religious intolerance toward any community of believers or nonbelievers.