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Attorney General Kwame Raoul Addresses at the Opening Plenary

Attorney General Kwame Raoul addressed the Opening Plenary at the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago, USA.

Good morning, and another good morning, welcome to Chicago, and when I welcome you to Chicago, I welcome you home, because we are a community, we are a city of 77 communities of people of different national origins, different faiths, different beliefs, but we come together in a common belief of peace and love. I embrace the theme of this convening, “a call to conscience, defending freedom and human rights.”

You have brought together a diverse group of people of faith to work collectively toward peace, justice, and sustainability. Although you may worship differently, you are brought together by commonality, peace, and love. I am truly blessed to serve as the State of Illinois’ 42nd Attorney General. In that capacity, I serve on behalf of the State. I know that they say there is a separation of church and state, but for me, when I walk into that government building, I do not leave my faith at the door. I bring it in with me. I do not abandon the underlying principle of peace and love that drives my faith. I bring my faith, as well as the love, for God and God’s children as my driving force. And for that love, for that love to be effective, it must be an active love. I can’t just say that I love you and I love God. I must show you that I do so through my duties as Attorney General. 

And so that’s why I’ve taken on the challenge of fighting hate and those that seek to divide us and offend against our freedom and our human rights. On an everyday basis, we work actively to combat the rise of hate. We do not do it alone. We do it with a community of faith leaders and other advocates. We work to protect houses of worship from targeted violence. We work actively to prosecute hate crimes. We use civil litigation to fight discrimination based on one’s faith, their race or national origin. We hold accountable some of these social media platforms that have allowed their platforms to be used as a tool of division or to sow hate. We carry out all of these acts and more out of that foundation of peace and love. And that is an active love.

And so again, I welcome you to the city of Chicago as you convene today to have exchanges on defending freedom and human rights. And I ask all of you to embrace your neighbors and to embrace the concept of not only love but active love.

Thank you so much.

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