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International conference on violence against Middle East’s religious minorities

Representatives of 56 nations and 11 international organizations gathered in Paris to discuss how best to assist the victims of ethnic and religious violence in the Middle East. The meeting was hosted by the foreign ministers of France and Jordan. Participants adopted an action plan that included “supporting affected populations and facilitating durable solutions for refugees and internally displaced persons,” “fighting impunity and ensuring justice,” and “preserving the diversity and plurality of the Middle East.” Addressing the participants, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States, lamented the “unprecedented atrocities” of the past year and called for a change in the legal culture of the Middle East that would allow for freedom to convert as well as to worship. The prelate also asked the international community to “guarantee the right of refugees to return to their homeland and live in dignity and security,” supported the promotion of interreligious dialogue, and urged Muslim nations to make sure that their nations’ schools do not promote extremism.


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Written by Raphael Benedict

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