Intolerance and discrimination against Christians in Europe

A CCEE delegation attended OSCE conference in Vienna

Vienna, Austria, 18 May 2015

Intolerance and discrimination against Christians in Europe

A CCEE delegation attended OSCE conference in Vienna

Intolerance and discrimination against Christians was the theme of the conference organized by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna, on 18 May 2015. Delegations of the various states of the OSCE region as well as NGO’s active in the field of intolerance and discrimination against Christians spoke in three sessions about the importance of enhancing efforts to prevent and combat intolerance and discrimination against Christians in the OSCE region, focusing on hate crimes, exclusion, marginalization and denial of rights.

CCEE was present at this meeting in the persons of Fr. Michel Remery, CCEE Vice-Secretary General, and Miss Raffaella Di Noia. Fr. Remery is also National Point of Contact for hate crimes against Christians for the Holy See, and as such was part of the delegation of the Holy See, led by Mgr. Janusz Urbańczyk, Permanent Representative of the Holy See at the OSCE and other international organizations based in Vienna.

Hereby some quotation of the different addresses given by the delegation. The full five addresses are attached.

The Holy See delegation: “With the increase of religious intolerance in the world, it is well documented that year after year Christians are the religious group most persecuted and discriminated against on the global level. In certain regions, including those at the doorstep of the OSCE region, one could even speak of genocidal tendencies in these persecutions. Thankfully, the Christians living in the OSCE region are spared such atrocities.”

“Particularly worrisome is the fact that across the OSCE region a sharp dividing line has been drawn between religious belief and religious practice, so that Christians are frequently reminded in public discourse or even in the courts, that they can believe whatever they like in private, and worship as they wish in their own churches, but they simply cannot act on those beliefs in public.”

“Tolerance towards one view should not lead to intolerance towards others. Intolerance in the name of “tolerance” must be named for what it is and publicly condemned. To deny religiously informed moral arguments a place in the public square is intolerant, anti-democratic and anti-religious.”

“Therefore, we call upon the participating States to act clearly against such hate crimes and to protect the Christians in their territories. Furthermore, we encourage them to report these incidents and seriously engage in ensuring that all their citizens, including Christians, can live peacefully, freely professing and practising their faith.”