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The 7th World Congress for Religious Freedom
June 18, 2012

  About 900 delegates,including scholars, government officials, legal experts and religious liberty advocates from 65 countries,as well as the International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA) coordinators from 13 Divisions,arrived in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. They were coming together for the 7th World Congress for Religious Freedom, set to be held by the IRLA from April 24 - 28, 2012. Presentations, discussions, and seminars were givenfor the recognition of religious freedom as basic to all human rights. Delegates voted to call for more religious freedom in all countries of the world. To accomplish this, they also decided to have wider global efforts and studies.

  Ted N. C. Wilson, President of the General Conference, said that “religious freedom bears the signature of a God of love”, while Denton Lotz, IRLA President, introduced the main Congress theme, “Secularism and Religious Freedom – Conflict or Partnership.”Cesar PinaToribio, Dominican Republic Secretary of State, thanked the IRLA for its global efforts to promote religious freedom. 

  Representing the Northern Asia-Pacific Division (NSD), Dr. Jairyong Lee, NSD President, and Dr. SiYoung Kim, NSD IRLA Coordinator, attended the Congress. Dr. Lee spoke about the religious liberty situation in the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, also known as North Korea. Despite the bleak situation of religious freedom in North Korea, he ended his presentation on an encouraging note that the religious liberty we have also gives us a heavy responsibility for the gospel work, so we should work harder before the night comes.

  A festivalcelebrated religious freedom as a gift from God and capped off a week of scholarly presentations and panels at the 7th World Congress for Religious Freedom. The event was held in the nation’s capital, Santo Domingo, and drew some 2000 people from across the Dominican Republic, as well as many international participants from the 7th World Congress.