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José Marìa Eymael, Christian Social Democracy Party of Brazil

delivered at the
International Coalition for Religious Freedom Conference on 
"Religious Freedom in Latin America and the New Millennium"
October 10-12, 1998, Sheraton Mofarrej Hotel, Sao Paolo, Brazil

Ladies and gentlemen who attend this seminar for "Religious Freedom in Latin America and the New Millennium:" As an individual, as the President of the Christian Social Democracy Party, and also as a citizen of Brazil, I welcome all of you, especially the international guests. I also want to express my deep feeling about this fantastic meeting and this opportunity that we have.

For us from the Christian Social Democracy, solidarity is a very, important point in all questions concerning people in the society. When we were making the Constitution of Brazil, I was the author of Article Three that defines what kind of society we will want to have. It has to be free, righteous and united in solidarity. To build the way of solidarity there are two key points. One is the importance of the family. The other is the freedom of religion. In reality these two sides are complimentary.

In reality, we are citizens of the world. Peace can only be attained when we see each other as a big family, a world family. In reality, we should think that we are sons and daughters of the same Father. We all belong to the very same family, but for us to really feel ourselves as brothers and sisters there must be a deep respect between each other.

So going this way, religion has a key point and is a very important tool because through religion we will meet the same Father. Once we reach the same Father through our own religion, we can view each other as brothers and sisters.

Once again, I welcome you to Brazil and wish God’s blessings upon you in your very important deliberations. Thank you very much.