Messahel pleads, in Washington, for diversity, religious tolerance

APS : Friday, 27 July 2018
WASHINGTON- Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdelkader Messahel pleaded Thursday, in Washington, for religious tolerance and cultural diversity in a summit on religious freedom, organized by the US Department of State.
Speaking in a plenary session of this major meeting which brought together 80 delegations in the presence of US Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the head of the Algerian diplomacy said that “Algeria’s three thousand year history is marked by a cultural diversity.”
It is in this regard that he underlined the Algerian model of tolerance and living-together, adding that Algeria the land of Islam gave Christianity the illustrious theologian Saint Augustinian and humanity Emir Abdelkader who saved thousands of Christians during his exile to Damascus.
Algeria, he added, honored the memory of Saint Augustinian, by organizing in 2001 at the initiative of President of the Republic Abdelaziz Bouteflika an impressive international symposium on his work and contribution to enriching the Christian thought and faith.
He also underlined, during his speech for peace, diversity and reconciliation, the constitutional guarantees for freedom of belief, opinion and worship in Algeria.
Stressing that religions shouldn’t under any circumstances “become a space of confrontation,” Messahel said that “practicing religious faith is an important form of expressing individual freedom which must be protected from the attitudes of intolerance and exclusion.”

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