In Washington DC, President of ANAJURE attends the third meeting of international parliamentary group working for religious freedom in the world.

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The leadrs of IPP and secretariat participated in the meetings in the United States

 

Since 16th this month, the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief (IPP) is holding in Washington DC its third meeting to discuss the challenges for the defense of freedom of religion and expression in the world. The meeting is closing this evening (18) and defines important steps to the group. The project is led by the House of Lords Baroness Elisabeth Berridge and has Brazilian representation of Congressman Leonardo Quintão (IPP Coordinator in Brazil, launched in March in National Congress – read more here), which will be represented on this occasion by the President of ANAJURE, Dr. Uziel Santana, who is on official business in the United States. 

The international parliamentary group held its first meeting last year in Oxfdord, England (click here), with representatives from Brazil, Canada, USA, Norway, Sweden, Turkey and Britain. In Oslo, Norway, the IPP held the second meeting (see here), tracing performance targets to reach in order to consolidate its global parliamentary network with representatives from several countries working to implement Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, about freedom of speech and religion. The group is projected to be an international response against authoritarian governments which persecute citizens and against radical groups who use force and violence to impose their religion to others. 

In this third meeting the program included panel discussions with parliamentarians members of the IPP Steering Committee and the establishment of the administrative secretariat, which will support the IPP. The Secretariat is composed by Ed Brown (Stefanus Alliance), Dr. Knox Thames (USCIRF), Charles Reed (C. England) and Dr. Uziel Santana (ANAJURE). The mission of Dr. Uziel Santana in IPP is to assist and support the parliamentarians in Latin America and countries in Francophone Zone in Africa.
 
The meeting of the IPP in Washington DC also had panels with Dr. Charles C. Haynes – (Director of Religious Freedom Center); Prof.. Linda Woodhead – (Lancaster University, UK); Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett – (President of the United States Comission on International Religious Freedom – USCIRF).; Michael Dora – (President of the United Nations NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief); among others.
 

Foto 2Among the important actions of this third meeting of IPP, there was also a visit to the White House where world parliamentarians met with Ronnie Newman, Director of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, and Melissa Rogers, Special Assistant of the President and Executive Director on White House Office of Partnerships Based on Faith. At the time, through their representatives, the US government claimed to be open and happy with the IPP movement, giving full support the projects the group develops in defense of freedom of religion and expression.

The group are met with David Saperstein, Ambassador-General of the International Religious Freedom of the US Department of State. See image below.

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About the IPP meeting, Dr. Uziel Santana said it was given another important step in defense of religious freedom in the world: "We have a group of parliamentarians very involved and motivated to fight against all forms of oppression and genocide that has happened in the world involving the right to religious freedom. Particularly, we are challenged with the new function in the administrative secretariat to support parliamentarians in Latin America and Francophone Africa. Brazil, under the leadership of Mr Leonardo Quintão, was highly praised by the practical actions in Pakistan Embassies, North Korea and Kenya. We have much work ahead, but we leave here with renewed hope."

Today, IPP includes parliamentarians from Brazil, Canada, Germany, Nepal, Norway, South Africa, Dominican Republic, Burma, Pakistan, Malaysia, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Argentina, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka and Italy.

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Por: Wanda Galvão l Tradução para o inglês: Felipe Augusto l ANAJURE

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