Buzek on Religious Freedom and the Persecution of Christians
Today, the European Parliament adopted a resolution supported by a vast majority of MEPs to condemn the increase in the persecution of Christians and other religious minorities, mainly in the Middle East.
EP President Buzek said: "I am extremely concerned by recent reports on the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and in other regions of the world. Those who committed the atrocities in Baghdad or Alexandria not only killed innocent worshipers, but wanted to terrorise an entire religious community that has been there for 2000 years. These cowardly attacks are unacceptable, and I condemn them in the strongest terms.
On Wednesday evening in Strasbourg, we held a very moving ceremony outside Parliament, lighting candles for those men, women and children who were killed in the recent attacks. They are innocent victims who did no harm to anybody. I mourn their deaths and send my thoughts to their families.
The lack of protection against terrorist attacks is sometimes associated with state-sponsored or tolerated discrimination and harassment. Together with Parliament, I firmly condemn these events and these political attitudes. In so doing, we do not restrict our attention to Christians alone. Every single man and woman in the world can count on the European Parliament as a beacon of human dignity and fundamental rights and freedoms, whatever his or her belief may be.
In an ever more interconnected world, the peaceful cohabitation of different convictions is becoming a major challenge. That is why the adopted resolution calls on High Representative/Vice President Ashton to establish a permanent capacity within the European External Action Service to monitor the development on freedom of religion in the world and to annually report to the EP. We need these capacities to deal with the question of religion in international relations.
Inter-community dialogue is crucial today to promote peace and mutual understanding between persons of different beliefs and convictions. We need to pursue and deepen this kind of dialogue for the benefit of religious freedom in the world."
For further information:
Robert A. Golański
Mobile: +32 475 751 663
Mobile. +32 498 981 348