©AfreePress-(Lomé, 19th July 2019)- The second ministerial conference on promoting religious freedom was launched on Thursday 18th July 2019 in the United States of America. Organized by the US State Secretary Mike Pompeo, this meeting, which was attended by the foreign minister of Togo, Prof Robert Dussey aims to « identify » the challenges, the means of combating religious persecutions and discrimination and ensure respect for religious freedom.
This meeting which brings together religious leaders, ministers, civil society organizations, international organizations representatives, seeks to reaffirm international commitments that promote religious freedom.
The minister of foreign affairs and African integration, Robert Dussey has made statements on the efforts in terms of promoting religious freedom and the measures taken to combat violent extremism in Togo. « Religious freedom is one of the modern difficult issues, which pose a threat in many regions in the world. If this is not a new issue (...), in its present form, it is expressing concern and it has to be seriously addressed », says Prof Dussey who believes that religious freedom suffers of blindly obscurantist, violent fanaticism and dogma.
« Whether in Somalia, Mali, Nigeria or Burkina Faso, people’s lives are threatened. Religious sites are taken as targets. Mosques, churches, and synagogues are burned down, priests and imams are murdered. Mosques and tombs of saint Muslims were vandalized in Timbuktu by Ansar dine in Mali », he added condemning those murderous attacks against Christians and Muslims all over the world.
The minister of foreign affairs has also welcomed the efforts made by African countries regarding this issue. « African States are making extraordinary efforts in order to guarantee the exercises of religious freedom which are fundamental human freedom. They must protect the exercise of religious freedom against extremism and terrorism », he urged.
Togo’s commitment according to Mr. Dussey, results in the establishment on the past 15th of May, of an interdepartmental committee to prevent and combat violent extremism. « Its policy aims to protect the citizens and also expression of individuals’ freedom, mainly religious», added the minister of foreign Affairs.