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Czech Priest Tomáš Halík Awarded 2014 Templeton Prize

LONDON, March 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

£1.1m Prize Winner Struggled for Religious and Cultural Freedom During Soviet Occupation

A Czech priest and philosopher who advanced religious and cultural freedoms after the Soviet invasion of his country, becoming a leading international advocate for dialogue among different faiths and non-believers, has won the 2014 Templeton Prize.

     (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140313/674031-a )
     (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140313/674031-b )

Msgr. Prof. Tomáš Halík, 65, was condemned by his nation's communist government as an "enemy of the regime" in 1972. He spent nearly two decades building a secret network of academics, theologians, philosophers and students dedicated  to preserving the intellectual and spiritual life of the democratic state he envisioned.

His years of counselling to liberation leaders such as Václav Havel and Cardinal František Tomášek helped Czechoslovakia transition from dictatorship to democracy after 1989.  He has since cultivated religious tolerance and understanding by sharing ideas and beliefs among followers of widely varying spiritual traditions, notably nonbelievers.

Valued at £1.1 million (about $1.8 million or €1.3 million), the Templeton Prize is one of the world's largest annual awards given to an individual and honours a living person who has made exceptional contributions to affirming life's spiritual dimension.

Established in 1972 by the late global investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton, the Templeton Prize is a cornerstone of the John Templeton Foundation's international efforts to serve as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality.

The London news conference is webcast live on http://www.templetonprize.org  at 10.30am GMT. Video highlights will be available there shortly afterwards. High quality still pictures of Professor Halik can be downloaded from: http://filetransfer.ctn.co.uk, username: templetonprize2014, password: W1nn3r

Broadcast quality Event video  can be downloaded (From approx. 3pm GMT on the 13th) via:

NTSC: http://mediaexpress2.reuters.com, username: VNR_NTSC   password: Videonews1

PAL: http://mediaexpress2.reuters.com, username: VNR_PAL password: Videonews1

Editors Note

The qualities sought in a Templeton Prize nominee include creativity and innovation, rigor and impact. The judges seek, above all, a substantial record of achievement that highlights or exemplifies one of the various ways in which human beings express their yearning for spiritual progress.

For enquiries contact the Templeton Press Office at CTN

Steve Clarke, t: +44(0)20-7395-8938, m: + 44(0)7990-566-865, e:[email protected]

Samantha Fitzsimmons, t: +44(0)20-7395-4906, m: +44(0)7806-809-095, e:[email protected]

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