Bush-Interfaith Conference

UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ President George W. Bush has told an interfaith conference at the United Nations that even though people may profess different creeds and worship in different places, "our faith leads us to common values.''

Bush told the U.N. gathering that freedom is God's gift to every man, woman, and child, and that freedom includes the right of all people to worship as they see fit. He said his personal faith has sustained him through his presidency and will continue to do so through the rest of his life. The president said the U.S. has made religious liberty a central element of its foreign policy. He encouraged countries to understand that religious freedom is the foundation of a healthy and hopeful society.

Bush said one of the best ways to safeguard religious freedom is to aid the rise of democracy that allows people with diverse views to discuss their differences and live in harmony. The conference was the idea of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia; he heads a kingdom that does not tolerate religious diversity.