Vatican City, Feb 24, 2021 / 05:00 am
A robust understanding of the right to religious freedom is being eroded in the global response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Vatican's foreign minister said in a video message to the United Nations Human Rights Council on Tuesday.
"The Holy See would like to reiterate the urgency of protecting the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. In particular, religious belief, and the expression thereof, lies at the core of the dignity of the human person, in his or her conscience," Archbishop Paul Gallagher said on Feb. 23.
Gallagher, the Holy See's secretary for relations with states, said that "the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic reveals that this robust understanding of religious freedom is being eroded."
"The Holy See would like to stress that, as is recognized in numerous human rights instruments, the freedom of religion also protects its public witness and expression -- both individually and collectively, publicly and privately -- in forms of worship, observance and teaching," he said.