Association for Religious Freedom in the Republic of Croatia marked on 30 January the Religious Freedom Day under the motto „A life without compassion is a mere charade“.
On that occasion the Association's President Željko Mraz presented plaques to the individuals who contributed significantly to the promotion of religious freedoms in the course of the previous year: Ankica Marinović, PhD, of the Institute for Social Research, the co-author of the book Religious Communities in the Republic of Croatia, and the members of the Headquarters for the coordination of the activities related to the arrival of refugees to the Republic of Croatia.
Along with other speakers, the numerous guests from both the religious as well as secular walks of life were addressed by Deputy Ombudswoman Tena Šimonović Einwalter. Deputy Šimonović Einwalter took the opportunity to remind the audience of one of the mandates of the Ombudsman institution, the central body in the Republic of Croatia in charge with combating discrimination. A part of that mandate is combating discrimination based on religion, including discrimination of the members of the majority as well as of the minority religions and discrimination of irreligious persons. Stressing the fact that discrimination based on religion is often driven by stereotype and prejudice about those who are different from us, Deputy Ombudswoman expressed support for the efforts of the Association for Religious Freedom in emphasizing the common elements and the similarities among the different religious groups and in advocating for religious pluralism. Congratulating the laureates, Deputy Šimonović Einwalter commended the Association's decision to award the work of those engaged in providing help for the refugees in the course of the previous year, since the refugees crisis as well as the reactions of the citizens who were determined to help provide the best example of treating those in a difficult situation with compassion instead of being influenced by prejudice and xenophobia.