About the Author: Charlotte Hu serves as the Public Affairs Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Georgetown, Guyana.The United States observes January 16 as Religious Freedom Day; it is the anniversary of the first American law protecting religious freedom. In recognition of this day, we present a series of entries on how the Department of State works to advance this universal right around the world.
It is fitting that Georgetown's Rameshwar Ashram temple graces the cover of the 2010 International Religious Freedom Report. Guyana has a diverse range of religious communities who freely practice their faith. The U.S. Embassy encourages religious freedom, and embassy officers frequent a range of faith-based gatherings. Most recently, during Ramadan, the Charge d'Affaires and acting Deputy Chief of Mission as well as officers from the political, consular, and public affairs sections and several agencies attended numerous events. Guyanese enjoy friendships across Hindu, Christian, and Islamic faiths.
The U.S. Embassy in Guyana's support for religious freedom is a natural part of Guyana's religious harmony. Charge d'Affaires Thomas Pierce gave opening remarks at last November's Diwali Festival of Lights celebration for embassy employees. Special Representative to Muslim Communities Farah Anwar Pandith made her first visit to South America's Caribbean coast by visiting Guyana on September 30. Facebook fans voted on the embassy's photo competition, which includes a dazzling array of images such as a cross, a mosque, and the deity of Lord Krishna, illustrating in vivid color the interfaith harmony in Guyana.
Learn more about how the Department of State advances religious freedom here on www.state.gov.