Churches remember Edict of Milan25 January 2013
Church leaders in Serbia have launched celebrations to mark the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan, under which Christians were granted religious freedom in the Roman Empire.
"For the first time in history, religious liberty was proclaimed under this agreement", said Archbishop Orlando Antonini, the Vatican's nuncio in Belgrade. "This respect for freedom of conscience was a great achievement of political culture and ethics. But it was also a deeply Christian event, since it was Christians who led the political power to recognise there are personal rights which underpin the state and must be recognised and guaranteed by it".
The Church official was speaking at a ceremony with government and state leaders in the eastern town of Nis, formerly Naissus, in Rome's Dardania province, where the Edict's author, Emperor Constantine the Great, was born in around 272 AD.
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