Cayman faith leaders attend religious conference

Cayman was represented at the recent 8th World Congress of the International Religious Liberty Association in Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Florida.

More than 550 attendees from 65 countries and six continents attended the Aug. 22-24 Congress, which brought together experts and delegates to discuss the contribution that freedom of religion or belief can make to sustainable, peaceful coexistence.

The resolution of religious leaders at the congress highlighted the “danger of religion being hijacked and misused for non-religious goals,” according to organizers.

The resolution underscored that “blaming an entire community for the actions of a few strengthens and emboldens” those who commit acts of violence “in the name of religion.”

This proclamation was part of an eight-point resolution adopted at the end of the conference.

Representing Cayman were Pastor Shion O’Connor, president of the Cayman Islands Conference of Seventh-day Adventists; John Wesley, Conference treasurer; and Dennis Brady, director of the Conference’s Religious Liberty Department.

The Congress was the first to be held in North America.

Government officials from Colombia, Cuba, Jamaica, the Philippines, Russia, Ukraine and Zambia attended, organizers reported.

Addressing the Congress were Rev. César García, general secretary of the Mennonite World Conference; Ted N.C. Wilson, president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists; Elizabeta Kitanovic, executive secretary of the Conference of European Churches; and Rev. Thomas Schirrmacher, chairman of the Theological Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance.

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