July 15, 2019 | Bogota, Colombia | IAD News Staff
President of Colombia Ivan Duque shared his commitment to upholding religious liberty in Colombia during a special breakfast to commemorate its Religious Liberty National Day in Colombia, on July 4, 2019.
More than 130 religious leaders were invited to the Bolivar de la Casa de Nariño Room in the Presidential Palace, in Bogotá, Colombia, to continue contributing to the social actions and sustainable entrepreneurship in Colombia.
“For me to have the presence of all of you today, is the demonstration that in the midst of religious freedom, that in each of the spaces of those present, there is a spiritual leadership in Colombian society, we can unite all this strength to take Colombia to take the transcendental steps we need,” said President Duque.
President Duque stated his strong reliance on his religion and his belief that spirituality leads the human being to greater things. He encouraged religious leaders to continue to reach the hearts of all Colombian citizens in strengthening families for a better society, provide moral and ethical values across schools and support the kind of equality that makes a better nation.
Pastor Gabriel Villarreal, public affairs and religious liberty director for the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Colombia, joined religious leaders during the breakfast. Villarreal said that for more than 10 years the Seventh-day Adventist Church has taken part in the efforts for the protection of religious liberty in Colombia.
“It is important that we continue to work for religious liberty so that individuals can have the freedom to worship or exercise their beliefs according to their conscience,” said Villarreal. Villarreal had the opportunity to greet President Duke and speak to him a little about the work of the church during the past few years.
In addition, Villarreal, who also heads the church’s Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Colombia, took part in a panel discussion afterwards with the Bogota’s Mayoral Office on the social contribution of nongovermental agencies to benefit the nation’s population.
Villarreal highlighted the basic needs and health attention project offered to more than 18,000 Venezuelan migrants implemented by ADRA Colombia during the past six months, as well as the numerous ADRA projects implemented across the country to assist displaced persons and those in need.