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From DC to Mecca, Should ‘Human Dignity’ Be the New ‘Religious Freedom’?

Ministerial
Speakers address participants at a general session on Different Faiths Advancing Religious Freedom Together at the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom at the U.S. Department of State in Washington D.C. on July 17, 2019. [State Department photo / Public Domain]
This article was first published at Christianity Today, on July 22, 2019.

In his opening remarks at the second US Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo welcomed almost 1,000 participants from civil society and more than 100 invited foreign delegations. He challenged every major world religion and secular society—and also invited them in.

“We all agree that fighting so that each person is free to believe, free to assemble, and to teach the tenets of his or her own faith is not optional,” said Pompeo. “Indeed, it is a moral imperative that this be permitted.”

But do all actually agree? A change in human rights language might make the difference.

And could Saudi Arabia improbably become the next champion…?

Please click here to read the full article at Christianity Today.

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Prayers

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Hajj Stampede

Flag Cross QuranGod,

Have mercy on the more than 700 Hajj pilgrims trampled underfoot in Saudi Arabia. Have mercy on the two million still alive, witness to the disaster. May they reflect anew, and seek you with all their heart.

Eight of the dead are among the 62,000 Egyptians on the pilgrimage. For them and all nationalities beside, comfort their families and provide for their children. Many Muslims believe Mecca is the best of all places to die. Help them to balance their grief with acceptance of honor.

Help the Saudi authorities to review all procedures, God. May they do all in their power to ease and order the necessary rituals.

And apart from the Hajj, God, bless all Muslims as they celebrate their holiday. May they laugh, love, and long for you. Lighten their hearts from the troubles of the region; burden their souls to serve you and their peoples.

Have mercy, God. Forgive the dead and the living, and revive us all.

Amen.

Update: The Ministry of Endowments now lists 124 Egyptian casualties.