The European Parliament Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance (EP Intergroup on FoRB & RT) presented its first Annual Report on the 'State of Freedom of Religion or Belief' at an event hosted by the Intergroup in collaboration with United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Speakers included the Chairs of the EP Intergroup on FoRB & RT and USCIRF as well as the Director of Human Rights at the European External Action Service (EEAS).
Representatives from civil society, governments and international organizations explored the challenges, including discrimination and hate crime, Christian communities face in the OSCE region at a conference held in Vienna on 18 May 2015.
The “Conference on Enhancing Efforts to Prevent and Combat Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians, Focusing on Hate Crimes, Exclusion, Marginalization and Denial of Rights” was organized by the OSCE Serbian Chairmanship and the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).
If one found out that an NGO1 (non-government organisation) was targeting new or traditional religious groups, and if this NGO (FECRIS) was a federation of groups with similar aims, one would have every right to be surprised. The information presented in this document goes far beyond what you might imagine—and that’s probably what has allowed it to remain relatively unnoticed until now.
These are the days after bereavement and grief. Emotions joined us all across the planet, in the same way as when we saw the World Trade Center crumbling down and the London’s underground or the Madrid’s train blowing up.
The executors are terrorist criminals hiding behind the name of a Prophet venerated by millions of Muslims, who openly condemn this violence and feel betrayed by the fact that the persons carrying it out cry that it is done in the Prophet’s name. For millions of Muslims this is blasphemy. That’s what the brother of one of the victims said during a press release.
According to the 2013 Annual Report on the State of International Religious Freedom by The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF):
«The state of international religious freedom is increasingly dire due to the presence of forces that fuel instability. These forces include the rise of violent religious extremism coupled with the actions and inactions of governments.» said Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett [*], USCIRF’s Chair.
1. Swedish Prime Minister: religious freedom must be defended after latests mosque attack.
Five people were injured when the mosque in Eskilstuna caught fire on Thursday.
In the ideological and political view of the European States, there is principle which cannot be negotiated: the guarantee for each individual to consider his State of belonging as a common home both for believers of all faiths and for non-believers alike.
Discrimination of any citizen, based on his/her faith or his non-faith, is not allowed.
Each State must prevent anybody from persecuting or discriminating any person based on his religious faith.
This is a press statement by FOREF Europe:
Threat of full-face veil to “open, personal relationships” trumps human rights
Vienna 3 July 2014 - FOREF Europe: By upholding a French ban on wearing full-face veils, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has failed to protect the religious freedom of Islamic women who choose the veil as an expression of their faith, according to the Forum for Religious Freedom-Europe (FOREF), an independent nongovernmental monitoring group.
The protection of minors against excesses of anti-religious policies
Comment on the report "The protection of minors against excesses of sects" of Mr Rudy Salles (MP EPP/CD' France), no. AS/Jur (2014) 07 of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.
As a human rights lawyer with a specific interest for religious freedom and religious minorities I was not happy to read this draft report as it poses a real threat to religious freedom in Europe.
Basically, as declared in the explanatory memorandum (page 4), this report is the result of: