/ Religions for Peace Receives International “Four Freedoms Award”
Religions for Peace Receives International Award: Freedom of Worship Medal from the Roosevelt Institute
Middelburg – Religions for Peace was awarded an international “Four Freedoms” prize by the New York Roosevelt Institute on Wednesday. General Secretary Prof. Dr. Azza Karam virtually accepted the award in the “Freedom of Worship” category.
“It is a great privilege to receive this award from the Roosevelt Institute on behalf of the 100 leaders of religious institutions and faith communities around the world,” Karam said. “I am only the recipient. But the community, I am privileged to serve, is the one that has done all the hard work. Thank you.”
„It is a great privilege to receive this award from the Roosevelt Institute on behalf of the 100 leaders of religious institutions and faith communities around the world.”
The award citation states:
“The award for the Freedom of Worship goes to Religions for Peace International for the alliance’s determined commitment to promote peace and to speak up for those most in need. ”
“The alliance resists and opposes the misuse and misperception of our faiths that fuel violence and hate. Their continued efforts to counter those misperceptions, prejudices and distrust between peoples are an example to us all. “
In a laudatory speech, young Dutch filmmaker Natasche van Weezel said, “What I like about Religions for Peace is that they present religion as something positive. Too often you hear that religions only lead to conflict. What impresses me is that you’re all about bringing different religions together to find a way to peace together.”
The five awards, which the Roosevelt Institute has given annually since 1982, relate in content to democratic values that U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt emphasized in a 1941 speech to the U.S. Congress: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want and freedom from fear. These four freedoms later became the basis for the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
In addition to these four categories, another “Freedom Medal” is awarded. In 2020, the “Freedom Medal” went to the United Nations and in 2016 to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
„What I like about Religions for Peace is that they present religion as something positive. Too often you hear that religions only lead to conflict.”
Natascha van Weezel
The “Freedom of Worship” medal, which now went to Religions for Peace, was also awarded to Desmond Tutu in 1998 and Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople in 2012, among many others.
The 2020 Freedom of Speech Medal went to Philippine journalist and author Maria Ressa. The “Freedom from Fear” medal went to Italian lawyer and politician Leoluca Orland. And the “Freedom from Want” medal went to Dutch journalist and presenter Sander de Kramer.
Alternating annually, the Roosevelt Institute medals are awarded either in New York to U.S. recipients or in Middelburg, the Netherlands, to international recipients.
Here you can watch the livestream of the award ceremony (Religions for Peace from 1:26:00)
The motto of the third Ecumenical Church Day was: “Look, take action. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was also among the many guests at the talks. In a video talk, Azza Karam emphasized the importance of cooperation between religions.
The prestigious peace prize is awarded internationally every two years. In 2016, German Chancellor Angela Merkel received the Freedom Medal. Now Religions for Peace has been honored in the “Religious Freedom” category.
Representatives of the Religions for Peace network exchanged views with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, secretary-general of WHO, about vaccine equity and the need to engage more with anti-vaccination activists.
The five-day event G20i will take place from Tuesday, October 13, to Saturday, October 17. And Professor Azza Karam, Secretary General of Religions for Peace, will take part as a speaker in the Plenary on the empowerment of women, youth and vulnerable people (Thursday, October 15, 4 to 5.30 pm (UTC+3)).