Friday, March 23, 2012

Discrimination grows in an anti-Christian Europe


A report specifically dedicated to cases of intolerance and religious discrimination towards Christians in the Old World

The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe (OIDCE) published its annual report listing incidents of anti-Christian discrimination in all member states of the European Union. As stated, it chronicles the “most striking” cases in which Christians have encountered either outright hate crimes or legal restrictions, including arrests and lawsuits, targeting their freedom of expression, belief and conscience.

The report documents that discrimination against Christians and their principles is quickly growing throughout the continent also in those countries that used to be leaders as far as freedom of opinion and conscience were concerned, like the United Kingdom. The Public opinion is ready to embrace these new negative stereotypes. An iconic example given in the report is the case of the Norwegian psycho-killer Andres Breivik “who was instantaneously and wrongly” labelled a “Christian fundamentalist” by the world’s media. “Anti-Christian prejudices needed a Christian equivalent to Muslim terrorism to prove true,” one of the report’s authors, Dr Gudrun Kugler wrote, with the result that a “thoughtlessly” and too-hastily attributed label “was gratefully received by the world’s media.”

The report points out that there is currently no mechanism in Europe for collecting and examining data on anti-Christian discrimination. The OIDCE says that its annual report for 2011 is not intended to be comprehensive, but to offer “impressions of the phenomenon, revealing to the reader its diverse aspects and far-reaching scope.”

It lists over 200 incidents, ranging from Christians who have been arrested and jailed for preaching against homosexual activity to vandalism of churches and cemeteries, particularly in Spain and France.

The Commission of the Bishops Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) welcomed the OIDCE report, calling the phenomenon of anti-Christian discrimination one of increasing “international significance.”

Bishop AndrĂ¡s Veres said that the report confirms “how some values and fundamental rights proper to Europe, such as freedom of religion and the legal recognition of our Churches, are far from being an established reality in some nations of the continent.”

From Vatican Insider, March 21, 2012

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