IRLA Secretary General Praises Focus of South American Activists
Dr. John Graz honored by Brazil's largest Bar Association
A major religious freedom symposium, held June 9 in Brazil’s National Assembly building in São Paulo, has drawn national attention to the cause of protecting and promoting freedom of faith. The event, organized by the Brazilian Association of Religious Freedom and Citizenship (ABLIRC), was attended by more than 200 lawyers, public officials, religious leaders, and activists, and took place in the national Chamber of Deputies. The symposium was one of the highlights of an intensive eight-day series of public meetings and events currently underway across Brazil.
“The IRLA’s sister organization in South America is strong and focused,” said Dr. John Graz, Secretary General of the IRLA. “The success of this symposium, and the broad range of speakers and participants it attracted, demonstrates the dedication and professionalism of ABLIRC, and high level of support their efforts are generating for the cause of freedom.”
Earlier in his South American itinerary, Dr. Graz met with Attorney Luiz Borges D'Urso, president of the Bar Association of the State of São Paulo, an organization which represents some 300,000 lawyers. The president presented Dr. Graz with a Diploma of Honor in recognition of his long and distinguished record of promoting religious freedom around the world. During the June 17 meeting, the President D'Urso also requested that Dr. Graz and the IRLA become advisors to the association’s Committee for Religious Freedom.
On Saturday, June 18, Dr. Graz gave three presentations at the largest Seventh-day Adventist Church in South America, a 4,000-member congregation which meets on the campus of the São Paulo Adventist University, (UNASP) near the city of Campinas, Brazil. Dr. Graz’s visit in South America continues this week with meetings with religious freedom experts and advocates in Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, and São José do Rio Preto. [Bettina Krause/IRLA]