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Toleration and Freedom

edictThis year Christians can remember and celebrate the 1,700 anniversary of the famous Edict of Milan of 313 AD under which Christians were granted religious freedom in the Roman Empire.

Archbishop Orlando Antonini, the Vatican's nuncio in Belgrade, says

"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".

Constantine's Edict declared that Christians' confiscated property be restored and instructions given that their meeting places were to be returned and compensation paid by the State.