Holy See: Bring Georgia Refugees Home

Speaks for Human Rights, Religious Freedom

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HELSINKI, Finland, DEC. 10, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See is concerned for displaced persons in Georgia as the conflict zones remain unstable and winter brings new challenges, says a Vatican official.



Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Vatican relations with states, affirmed this in an address to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) during their 16th ministerial conference. Foreign ministers of 56 nations gathered for the Dec. 4-5 meeting in Helsinki.

The archbishop spoke on the political-military dimension of OSCE's work, encouraging its fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and its initiatives against terrorism. He mentioned that he signed and ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions in Oslo the previous day.

Archbishop Mamberti addressed the economic and environmental dimension, in particular faced to the next forum's theme of migration management.

He said, "I would like to stress that the family as institution, as well as the consequences of migration for family life, should be taken into account during the working sessions of the upcoming forum."

Addressing the human dimension, he affirmed various commitments made by the OSCE, emphasizing the need to focus on fulfilling these measures rather than taking on new ones.

The archbishop turned his attention to the theme of human rights, and particularly the right to religious freedom. He asserted: "The Holy See promotes this right, demands that it be universally respected, and views with concern the increasing episodes of violence, as well as the ongoing acts of discrimination and intolerance against Christians and members of other religions.

"The idea that religion is a form of alienation is no longer fashionable and believers can rather constitute a powerful factor in favor of the common good."

Archbishop Mamberti spoke out against human trafficking, prostitution and forced labor. He emphasized the commitment of the Church to uphold the dignity of human life, and support the OSCE in its efforts to eliminate human exploitation.

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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-24512?l=english