New Richmond Education Center To Celebrate Freedom of Religion

November 9, 2003

Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch!news&s=1045855934842

On November 9, 2003 Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that "The Council for America's First Freedom wants to remind the world that its hometown - Richmond - was the birthplace of one of the most important liberties of all. The nonsectarian, nonprofit organization wants to build a 30,000-square-foot education center on the site where Virginia legislators enacted the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom. The council this week will launch a $25.5 million fund-raising campaign to build the center... 'People were persecuted for their beliefs prior to that; people are still persecuted today,' said Tommy Baer, president of the council's Board of Trustees and former president of B'nai B'rith International. 'But liberty and freedom of conscience have become an aspiration for people around the world. Baer said the council hopes the education center will be more than a museum. He wants it to be a place where schoolchildren will learn about freedom of religion, a place where scholars can reflect on the issue, and a place where political leaders from around the world might come to debate and discuss religious liberty and try to end persecution. 'It will be important in teaching religious tolerance and respect for the diversity of ideas and beliefs,' said the Rev. Cessar Scott, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Virginia."