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July/August 2015

Discover more articles from this issue.

Remaking History in Indiana

Until recently few people had heard of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act or could even pronounce its acronym, RFRA (Riff-ra), even though there’s a federal version of the law and 20 states have passed their own versions.


Is this Religious Freedom Restoration Act really that significant? Will it make that big a difference?

A City Upon A Hill

Chinese law does not explicitly state that churches cannot own property and land, but the Communist Party rules that all land belongs to the country and the “people,” and the government gives itself the arbitrary right to give land to or take it away from anyone without due process.

Altering Consciousness for Liberty

A new day for religious freedom in Latin America.

Liberty Sentinels and Monuments To Freedom

The other day, as I passed by the nicely framed pictures of the ten Liberty editors from 1906 to the present, an inner voice suddenly brought me up with a simple, yet profound thought. There really should be eleven! Yes, what about Alonzo T. Jones?

The Poetry of Liberty

Byron, Shelley, and Religious Freedom...

Ghosts of the Past

Native spirituality under attack.

Talking of Freedom

An interview with Ted N.C. Wilson, world president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, by John Graz, secretary-General of the iIternational Religious Liberty Association.

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Published in the July/August 2015 Magazine


The second IRLA Inter-American Religious Liberty Congress was held in Medellín, Colombia, March 18-19, 2015, in the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel. The theme was: “Church-State Relations, Why Are They Important and How to Improve Them?” A large public rally in the city followed the event and showed broad public and official support for religious freedom. 

The IRLA Inter-American secretary-general Roberto Herrera and his team had done their homework and ensured the great success of the congress. One hundred fifty delegates representing 35 national IRLA partner associations gave a report of their activities in daily workshops. Former Senator Charles Schultz, an authority in the history of religious freedom in Colombia, was the guest speaker. Professor Rosa Maria Martinez de Codes from the University Complutense of Madrid and Professor Jaime Contreras, vice-rector of the University Alcalá de Henares in Spain, brought the European dimension to the congress. The IRLA headquarters was represented by its secretary-general, John Graz, and his two deputies, Ganoune Diop and Dwayne Leslie. The Inter-American Division president, Israel Leito, welcomed the participants and thanked Colombia for its high level of religious freedom

One of the climaxes of the congress was the interview of Dr. Ted Wilson, IRLA vice president and president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Interviewed by Graz, Wilson called believers to respect religious liberty for all as a gift from God. He reaffirmed the position of his church to defend the principle of religious freedom for all: “Everyone should be free to believe according to conscience.”  

The congress ended with a ceremony of recognition for all national associations that have held congresses, symposiums, and festivals. A tribute to John Graz was given by Israel Leito for his 20 years of service as IRLA secretary-general. According to Roberto Herrera, this second congress shows the vitality and the engagement of the Inter-American region to promote and defend religious freedom for all and everywhere.

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