Utrecht: Religious leaders to vote together

Utrecht: Religious leaders to vote together

During the Dutch parliamentary elections on June 9th, various religious leaders will go to the voting station together. They want to show 'that religions in the Netherlands can contribute to democracy'.

The group, which consists of Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists, will vote at 9 AM in the Utrecht municipality. "It's the first time that representatives of religions go together this way," according to the initiators.

This article was prepared by the Islam in Europe blog - islamineurope.blogspot.com

Participants include Rabbi Raphael Evers of the Dutch Israelite Churches Society, General-Secretary Arjan Plaisier of the Protestant Church and priest Joop Albers of the Anglican Church. Several imams are also participating, including Mohammed Tahier Wagid Hosain of the Contact Body of Muslims and Government.

"A democracy can only function optimally if the citizens use their right to vote. A democratic society is characterized by mutual respect between citizens and maintaining the rights and obligations which apply to everybody, whether they're a majority or a minority," the religious leaders wrote in a statement.

They've chosen Utrecht because the Union of Utrecht was signed there in 1579. "Then it was first declared that all citizens are free to follow their own faith."

According to the leaders, a religion should play a 'joining function' in society.

" The joint voting presence will emphasize this and at the same time be a signal for our own followers in the Netherlands and in other countries."

The leaders urge other rabbis, pastors and imams to go vote together where they live. "Nearby or in an historic location."

Source: Nederlands Dagblad (Dutch)

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