|Pope backs Sikhs' right to wear turban|
''In other words, Governments should respect dignity of the human person and of his inalienable rights among which his right to adhere, practice and propagate his religion is fundamental. No Government should interfere with the inner core of any religion,''the Pope has said in a message to National Commission for Minorities Chairman Tarlochan Singh.
His message came after Singh sought his intervention regarding the French Sikhs' protest against a possible ban on their turbans considered central to the very identity of the faith.
Pope John Paul II said in a message obtained by UNI: ''In recent times,
we have witnessed in some European countries an attitude that could
endanger the effective respect for religious freedom. Everyone may agree
to respect the religious sentiment of individuals but the same can not
be said of the religious factor, that is the social dimension of religions....It
is nothing other than respect for all beliefs on the part of the State
that assures the free exercise of ritual, spriritual and cultural and
The Pope said a healthy dialogue between the Church and the State would encourage harmony in society.