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European Parliament calls for more protection of Christians

By on Friday, 21 January 2011

Baroness Ashton, EU foreign policy chief (Photo: PA)

Baroness Ashton, EU foreign policy chief (Photo: PA)

The European Parliament has urged governments to do more to protect Christians from persecution.

It said in a resolution addressed to EU institutions: “In some cases, the situation facing Christian communities is such as to endanger their future existence – if they were to disappear, this would entail the loss of a significant part of the religious heritage of the countries concerned.

“We call on the [European] Council, the Commission and High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy … to pay increased attention to the subject of freedom of religion or belief and to the situation of religious minorities, including Christians, in agreements and co-operation with third countries as well as in human rights reports.

The document said the December 31 explosion at an Orthodox church in Alexandria, Egypt, was only one of numerous attacks against Christians in 2010. It cited incidents in Nigeria, Iraq, Philippines, Vietnam and Cyprus.

It added that the EU had stressed the duty of governments to guarantee freedom of thought, conscience and belief and was committed to promoting democracy and respect for human rights and civil liberties as a fundamental aim.

In called on the EU’s foreign ministers to find “instruments to provide security and protection for Christian communities under threat” when they discuss persecution at their meeting on January 31.

Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, told the European Parliament that any “discrimination or violence” because of religious beliefs violates EU values and should be “taken seriously and condemned with the same force”.

She added that the EU would not “turn a blind eye” to the plight of “long-established Christian communities in the Middle East,” and was “ready to enhance co-operation with governments to combat intolerance and protect human rights”.

“These attacks are unacceptable, perpetrated by extremists with an agenda of intolerance that must be condemned and resisted,” she said. “EU delegations closely monitor such issues around the world, and the EU’s next annual human rights report this spring will address the situation of religious minorities around the world. I am fully committed to keeping freedom of religion or belief at the top of the EU’s agenda.”

  • John Davies


  • Kyriakos

    What about the Christianophobhia in Europe and in the EU ? Would that be addressed ?

  • louella

    This is very welcome news and I hope they keep to their word on behalf of persecuted Christians in Islamic lands………but how does it square with the infringment of religious liberty of Christians in Europe! Where are they when Christian rights are subjugated?! Wasn’t it the EU who upheld an atheist’s complaint against Crucifixes in Italian classrooms etc

    They are speaking with forked tongues.

  • Brian Westley

    “Where are they when Christian rights are subjugated?! Wasn’t it the EU who upheld an atheist’s complaint against Crucifixes in Italian classrooms ”

    Wait, now it’s a “right” to have your religion promoted in state schools? Does everyone get this “right”, or are Christians the only ones who get to put religious symbols in schools?

    Sorry, you have no idea what religious freedom really is.

  • louella

    Well if we aren’t allowed to display our Crucifixes in a classroom…..then I would consider that oppression – not brutal oppression….but oppression nonetheless. And it seems to be a symptom of anti-Christ hatred…ie hatred for Christ Himself!

    So much for religious freedom…eh?!

  • Chris

    What are you blabbering on about? Name a single European country where the law allows only Christian symbols in schools or where only Christianity is allowed to be discussed. I won’t be holding my breath, but none exists.

    The reality is that Christians are a persecuted minority in several Muslim dominated counrties e.g.Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. No minority group should be oppressed by the majority. But,of course, although this is the subject of the article,it’s something about which you say nothing.

  • Clive Sweeting

    There is very little that can be done. Lord Cromer once asked the Coptic Pope to invoke British protection- “Yes, if you post a policeman outside every church,school, presbytery” came the answer. In a post- Gladstonian age Western intervention has sparked a series of horrors for the Christians of the Near East,e.g.the Armenian Genocide.Mr. Blair’s actions in Iraq cannot be dissociated from fearful revenge attacks on Christians in the area.As the expertise has been shown to be fallible, Western governments should regrettably keep out of the business of actively protecting Christians, a course of action which has been proved too often to backfire. Diplomatic respect for church leaders and humanitarian rescue missions are the probable upper limits to any such undertaking.

  • Brian Westley

    “What are you blabbering on about? Name a single European country where the law allows only Christian symbols in schools or where only Christianity is allowed to be discussed.”

    What are YOU blabbering on about? I was replying to someone with no sense of religious freedom who was referring to the Lautsi case in Italy. Only crucifixes were on school walls (by state law), and the courts ruled that this violated the religious freedom of non-Christian students.

  • Paul

    Different institutions: the European Court of Human Rights is part of the 47-nation Council of Europe (which includes Russia, for instance); the EU only has 27 members.

  • Paul

    So the provision of “school assemblies” meant there was no religious freedom in postwar Britain?

  • louella

    LOL…’s so hard to know who rules us these days!! Still…..they are not keen on Christian rights on their own European soil.

  • JohnMH


  • The Moz

    What about the increasingly intolerant positions of Europeans themselves to Christians?

  • Brian Westley

    It meant their religious freedom was being disregarded; what else would you call it when children with various religious views are coerced into worshipping the way of the majority religion? That’s religious oppression, whether the local majority is Christian or Muslim or Hindu or atheist.

  • Bonydiver

    Im sorry to dissapoint but couldnt’t help laughing at this news article;

    The EU is, has and will be the chief architect of the whole atheistic attack on Christianity in Europe for the simple reason that no commmunists state can tolerate a free religion.

  • SPQRatae

    “She added that the EU would not “turn a blind eye” to the plight of “long-established Christian communities in the Middle East,” ”
    That’s rich coming from a woman who served in the most vindictively anti-Christian government in the West!

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  • D.nusrani

    ThanksCatharine Ashton for her concern about prosecutions and protection of minorities. I would like to say that
    E.U parliment should not depend on these statments. They need to take drastic steps to save minorities particularly in Pakistan where A Christian Fedral Minister assasinated who was struggling to get the draconian blasphemy Law abolished which is being mis-used to equalize peraonal scores.

    Moreover the West should take notice of the increasing papulation of muslims in Europe. Once they grow in majority they are very painful. We have experience of living as a minority among muslims. It is very painful.
    The west should give a thought that what are they going to leave for your generations to come.
    They are also working on agenda of converting youngesters particularly young females to Islam.
    Islam has been spread by sword but this time they are using deception and analogy to promote Islam in Europe.