An Iftar Highlighting Religious Freedom in Bahrain
August 14, 2012 § Leave a comment
Last night at the Embassy, I hosted an Iftar that brought together leading members of the Washington, D.C. community interested in international religious freedom issues. It was a great opportunity to discuss the role religious pluralism plays in the everyday life of Bahrain and to highlight the ongoing work to address the ongoing reform process in Bahrain.
The highlight of the evening was a panel discussion that focused on the role interreligious can play in promoting understanding around the world. The assembled panelists included His Eminence Theodore Cardinal McCarrick – the Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, Dr. Chris Seiple – the President of the Institute for Global Engagement, and Kyle Ballard – an official in the U.S. State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom. Joe Grieboski, the head of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy, chaired the panel. I appreciated the candor of each panelist in offering their assessment of the situation in Bahrain and about religious freedom in the broader Middle East.
During many of my public appearances, I emphasize the need for a comprehensive, multi-lateral, inclusive dialogue without preconditions to address Bahrain’s internal disagreements. Events like this offer the opportunity a compelling example of how honest dialogue can contribute to further understanding and reconciliation.