VATICAN CITY -- In a message to the world's Hindus, a top Vatican official called on Christians and Hindus to work together in promoting religious freedom.
The lack of religious freedom is "taking center stage in many places, calling our attention to those members of our human family exposed to bias, prejudice, hate propaganda, discrimination and persecution on the basis of religious affiliation," wrote Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
The freedom to "profess, practice and propagate" one's religious belief "is the answer to religiously motivated conflicts in many parts of the world," especially as so many people desperately seek full human development and peaceful coexistence with others, he wrote.
His comments came in an annual message to mark the Hindu celebration of Diwali, a three-day religious festival that was to begin Oct. 26 in most parts of the world.
The cardinal's letter, released by the Vatican Oct. 20, said when religious freedom is hampered or denied "all other human rights are endangered."