The First Religious Liberty Dinner In Curaçao
Thursday, January 15th 2015, the Curaçao Religious Liberty Foundation celebrated its first Religious Liberty Dinner. The dinner took place at the Lokono ballroom of the Sta. Barbara Beach and Golf Resort, in Sta. Barbara Plantation, Curaçao. One of the purposes of the dinner was to make the foundation known among the civil authorities. Among the guests that were present was Mrs. Nolda Römer – Kenepa, Vise Governor of Curaçao and Dr. Aignald Panneflek, representative of the Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports. Mr. Ivar Asjes, the Prime Minister had to cancel his appointment at the dinner because of an emergency. According to the comments of a few participants, the dinner was a great success.
There were two captivating presentations on the topic of the importance of Religious Liberty. Dr. John Graz, Secretary General of the International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA) talked about the global situation of Religious Liberty and explained what the IRLA is doing around the world. Mr. René Levy Maduro, who served as president of the Liberal Jewish Community in Curaçao for twenty five (25) years, spoke about the local situation. “I have deliberately chosen to be positive, but we also need to be realistic. There are things to improve and there is work to do here in Curaçao.”
According to Mr. Castro Mercalina, a longtime member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, also a participant at the dinner, “I had the honor to sit at a table with a Jew, four (4) Muslims, one (1) Protestant and one (1) Catholic. The conversation was exciting. Each one with his/her own experience.” Mrs. Lea Bernabela, president of the one (1) year old foundation declared: “This is the first Religious Liberty Dinner, because there will be a second, a third, etc.”
Shurman R. Kook, Secretary
Curaçao Religious Liberty Foundation