Celebrating the great benefits of religious diversity


Celebrating the great benefits of religious diversity


Sunday, January 19, 2020

Print this page Email A Friend!

Each year since 1993, the president of the United States has declared January 16 to be Religious Freedom Day, commemorating the passage of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom in 1786. Drafted by Thomas Jefferson, who considered it one of his greatest achievements, the landmark legislation stopped the practice of taxing people to pay for the support of the local clergy and protected the civil rights of people to express their religious beliefs without suffering discrimination.

In turn, the US Constitution leaned heavily on Jefferson's statute in establishing the First Amendment's guarantee of religious freedom. Today, that protection is as important as ever.

US Embassy Kingston is proud to stand together with Jamaica in defence of religious freedom, so that people may freely practice, or refrain from practising, a faith, belief or religion free from persecution or fear. We all believe that fostering respect for religious pluralism and diversity of belief is key to reducing discrimination and persecution and will help to ensure all individuals, American or Jamaican or otherwise, equally enjoy their rights.

To celebrate this year's Religious Freedom Day, let us all recommit ourselves to protecting the faith of those around us. May we remember that religious diversity strengthens our communities and promotes tolerance, respect, understanding, and equality. Faith breathes life and hope into our world — we must diligently guard, preserve, and cherish this unalienable right.

— Donald Tapia is the United States Ambassador to Jamaica

Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive




1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy

comments powered by Disqus



Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon