The Italian Evangelical Alliance Meets With Ambassador Brownback

Religious freedom in the world and in Italy at the center of the meeting

Rome (AEI), 5th October 2020 – On Thursday October 1st representatives of the Italian Evangelical Alliance had the privilege of meeting with the U.S. Ambassador of Religious Freedom Sam Brownback. Present were Ambassador Sam Brownback and his Chief of Staff Riley Barnes. They were accompanied by political advisor for the U.S. Embassy in Rome Gaetano Pellicano and his vice council Adam Blakeman. Representing the Italian Evangelical Alliance were PresidentGiacomo Ciccone; Director of Alliance initiatives in Rome Davide Bogliolo, and Reid Karr of the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. The meeting was coordinated by Senator Lucio Malan. The IEA is grateful for Senator Malan’s efforts in making this meeting possible and for his tireless commitment to religious liberty and his efforts to ensure those liberties for persecuted believers around the world.

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The IEA was privileged to present to the Ambassador the challenges faced by many religious minorities internationally, providing particular insight into the challenges many minorities face in Italy. While the Italian Constitution guarantees religious freedom to all, the implementation of those freedoms has been neither fair nor equal. The IEA was grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate this by highlighting examples such as the case of Punto Luce in Lombardy, and the requirements imposed on local congregations and their pastors in order to receive recognition in the eyes of the State. Ambassador Brownback was attentive and professional, and offered the IEA with advice on how to better promulgate the challenges of religious freedom faced in Italy on an international scale.

The IEA thanked the Ambassador and his office for its report on religious liberty in Italy that is published annually, and offered to be a point of reference and collaboration for future editions of the report. With its strong advocacy for religious minorities and the persecuted church around the world, the IEA has proven to be a valid voice in the fight for religious freedom and prays its services will be used to further this cause. (Reid Karr)