Catholic life peer Lord Alton receives award
A Catholic life peer has been recognised for his work in promoting religious freedom.
Lord David Alton was presented with an award during a conference in Washington DC to launch a global campaign for religious freedom.
Paying tribute to Lord Alton, US Ambassador for Religious Freedom Sam Brownback commended him for giving a voice to those persecuted for religious beliefs.
“For decades, David Alton has championed the cause of people persecuted for their religious faith,” he said.
Ambassador Brownback described Lord Alton and retired Congressman Frank Wolf as “the fathers of the freedom of religion and belief movement.”
In response, Lord Alton said: “I am deeply honoured and truly grateful to Ambassador Brownback and look forward to continuing our work together on this important cause.”
Promoted as the largest religious freedom event ever to take place, the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom is taking place between July 16-18.
Gathering religious and civic representatives from across the world, the event was organised by the US State Department and aims to “to promote religious freedom for all.”
During the event, Lord Alton gave a speech in which he highlighted the persecution of 250 million Christians.
“They are the most persecuted group in the world,” he said.
Lord Alton offered several examples, such as Christians in Pakistan who had been burned alive and Christians in North Korea who have been tortured.
He also called on those present to promote religious freedom by seeking justice, taking action and speaking out.
“If we are launching a global movement for religious freedom, fundamental to this must be a new determination to uphold justice,” he said.
“Societies that have religious freedom are the most prosperous and the least dependant on foreign aid and military assistance. We need to do the heavy lifting designing and advancing new legal routes to justice for the persecuted.
“The suffering and the pain which we have heard about today requires those of us with the privilege of political freedom to demand justice and human dignity for those who do not enjoy these freedoms.
“We cannot afford the luxury of silence,“ he said.
The event concluded on 18 July with addresses by US Vice President, Mike Pence, and Sara Bloomfield, Director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Picture: Standing alongside Congressman Frank Wolf, Lord David Alton is presented with an award by Ambassador Sam Brownback on 17 July 2019. Photo by Nuri KinoTags: catholic, International Religious Freedom, Lord Alton, Lord Alton of Liverpool, religious freedom, Religious Freedom in the World Report, US Commission on International Religious Freedom, US State Department