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17,000 Back Religious Freedom at Huge Rally in Madagascar

By Laurent Brabant, IRLA

More than 17,000 people rallied at a Seventh-day Adventist-organized event in Madagascar to pledge their support for religious liberty.

The daylong “Festival of Religious Freedom,” held in a sports arena in the capital, Antananarivo, was the first such event to be held in the Indian Ocean island nation.

The festival drew community and national leaders, including Interior and Decentralization Minister Olivier Mahafaly.

The event was jointly sponsored by the Adventist Church’s Southern Indian Ocean Union and the Adventist-affiliated International Religious Liberty Association, or IRLA.

Its purpose, said organizers, was to focus national attention on an often-overlooked yet fundamental human right and to express gratitude to the government for continuing to protect the ability of all Malagasy citizens to worship in peace and security.

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