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EU denounces attacks against Christians, Muslims

ICC Note:

“The European Union denounced attacks against Christians and Muslims on Monday, having previously failed to agree a statement that included Christianity among persecuted religious faiths,” Reuters reports.

By Eva Dou and Francesco Guarascio

2/21/2011 Egypt, EU (Reuters) – The European Union denounced attacks against Christians and Muslims on Monday, having previously failed to agree a statement that included Christianity among persecuted religious faiths.

The EU began a debate about religious violence after an attack on a Coptic Christian church in northern Egypt at the end of December left 23 people dead and dozens wounded.

The statement issued by EU foreign ministers after a meeting in Brussels, while not mentioning the recent upheaval in Egypt that toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak, described freedom to express religious faith as a human right.

It also condemned all forms of discrimination.

“The Council expresses its profound concern about the increasing number of acts of religious intolerance and discrimination … against Christians and their places of worship, Muslim pilgrims and other religious communities, which it firmly condemns,” the statement said.

At a meeting in January, foreign ministers failed to agree a statement mentioning Christianity as among the faiths that are potentially threatened, angering Italy. Christians account for around a third of the world’s population.

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