Giving hope to persecuted Christians since 1995
Select Page

Religious Freedom: European Parliament takes action to promote religious freedom

ICC Note

 “75% of deaths linked to religion-based hate crimes affect people of the Christian faith, which makes Christians the most persecuted religious group in the world. Europe cannot remain indifferent. The EU must take co-responsibility for protecting religious freedom all over the world. Today, the mass suffering of Christians is still a crime that remains forgotten. We are here to remind the politicians of their responsibilities in this matter.”

10/05/2010 EU (EPP Group)-Religious freedom must be incorporated into the European External Policies of the EU, by adding to Agreements with Third Countries a binding clause on the respect of freedom of religion. This is the main demand of a Written Declaration presented today by Mario Mauro MEP (EPP Group) and Konrad Szymanski MEP (ECR Group). The initiative was launched today on the occasion of a conference on ‘Persecution of Christians’, which was organised by the two Groups and COMECE (Commission of the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences in the EU).

Violations of the right to freedom of religion or belief take place all over the world and it affects an estimated 100 million Christians every year. According to Open Doors International, in 2010, the top ten list of countries where Christians are most persecuted because of their faith consists of North-Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Maldives, Afghanistan, Yemen, Mauritania, Laos, and Uzbekistan.

Konrad Szymanski MEP (ECR Group) recalled that: “75% of deaths linked to religion-based hate crimes affect people of the Christian faith, which makes Christians the most persecuted religious group in the world. Europe cannot remain indifferent. The EU must take co-responsibility for protecting religious freedom all over the world. Today, the mass suffering of Christians is still a crime that remains forgotten. We are here to remind the politicians of their responsibilities in this matter.”

Mario Mauro MEP (EPP Group) stressed that: “Religious freedom is the condition through which all our other freedoms pass: freedom to express and profess the religion in which we believe means to escape the abuse of power. This is the reason why we need to insist on the defence of this principle and this is also why we initiated the Written Declaration in the defence of freedom of religion”.

On the occasion of this conference, the COMECE Secretariat presented its ‘Memorandum on Religious Freedom’. The text entails 11 recommendations addressed to the European Parliament, the European Commission, the Council and the European External Action Service of the EU so as to contribute, within their respective responsibilities, to the furtherance of religious freedom in the external relations of the EU. The Memorandum recalls that “the right to religious freedom is so closely linked to the other fundamental rights that respect for religious freedom is like a ‘test’ for the observance of fundamental rights.”

[Go to the Full Story]