In­tol­er­ance ris­ing in Europe

The Church of England - - News -

A RE­SPECTED mon­i­tor­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion, the Ob­ser­va­tory on In­tol­er­ance and Dis­crim­i­na­tion Against Chris­tians in Europe, has re­ported ‘a tremen­dous amount of cases of van­dal­ism against Chris­tian sites and places of wor­ship’ in re­cent years.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion cau­tions that it is not pos­si­ble to record ev­ery act of hate-re­lated crimes against Chris­tians be­cause Euro­pean gov­ern­ments gen­er­ally do not keep sep­a­rate data for at­tacks on Chris­tians, but in­stances 133 cases of van­dal­ism against Chris­tian sites in 11 Euro­pean coun­tries in 2013.

In the same year the Ob­ser­va­tory also recorded 241 cases of in­tol­er­ance against Chris­tians in law and pol­i­tics, the arts and me­dia. In­tol­er­ance against Chris­tians oc­curs par­tic­u­larly with re­gard to lim­i­ta­tions of con­sci­en­tious ob­jec­tion, free­dom of speech, equal­ity and dis­crim­i­na­tory poli­cies, lim­i­ta­tions of the rights of par­ents with re­spect to sex ed­u­ca­tion, and free­dom of as­sem­bly.

The Ob­ser­va­tory has con­ducted a sur­vey of 41 laws in 14 Euro­pean coun­tries that im­pede the free ex­er­cise of faith by Chris­tians. It warns of grow­ing an­tiChris­tian sen­ti­ment in the arts and the me­dia, in­clud­ing the so­cial me­dia.

“Re­spect is a key con­cept for the un­der­stand­ing of hu­man rights in gen­eral and in par­tic­u­lar for the free­dom of re­li­gion or be­lief,” notes Ob­ser­va­tory’s An­nual Re­port.

“The in­creas­ingly sec­u­larised so­ci­ety in Europe has less and less space for Chris­tian­ity,” com­ments the Di­rec­tor of the Ob­ser­va­tory, Dr Gu­drun Ku­gler.

“Some gov­ern­ments and civil so­ci­ety ac­tions seek to ex­clude in­stead of wel­com­ing. There are count­less cases of in­tol­er­ance against Chris­tians that are re­ported to us. Through re­search, doc­u­men­ta­tion and the pub­li­ca­tion of these cases, we hope to cre­ate aware­ness, which is the first step to­wards a so­lu­tion.

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