Freedom of Religion or Belief as Intersection of Core Values: A Fertile Ground for Building Harmony in Society

  • Ganoune Diop Director of Public Affairs and Religious Liberty Department for the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist Church, Washington DC, USA; General Secretary of International Religious Liberty Association; Secretary of the Conference of Secretaries of the Christian World Communions; Andrews University Alumni, 12501 Old Columbia Pike, Silver Spring, MD, 20904.
Keywords: freedom, core values, peace, security, justice, human rights


The title of this conference, “Legislation, Ethics, and Religion: An Approach from the Context of Religious Freedom,” combines key concepts brought together probably because of their intersections with core values that sustain their respective fields of expertise and viability. Essentially, legislation is the process and outcome by which lawmakers attempt to protect citizens and provide them with a social environment in which every person can flourish in the pursuit of the well-being of all. Ethics is the science and art devoted to undergirding values that cement and preside over civility and healthy relationships. Religion can be defined as the common bond among people of free will when it comes to delineating and adopting views about ultimate or metaphysical realities and the practices that mediate and negotiate relationships. Religious freedom presented in the title as a prism through which legislation, Ethics, and Religion are viewed is a fundamental freedom that seems to point toward what it means to be human.