EP President Schulz promises to help protect Christians wherever possible
"I can assure you that Parliament will make its contribution wherever it can to protect Christians," said EP President Martin Schulz, closing Tuesday's conference on inter-faith dialogue and the situation of Christians around the world. The meeting, organised by EP vice-president Antonio Tajani, focused on the persecution of Christians around the globe and specific proposals for tackling it.
Mr Schulz said: "Persecution is happening outside the EU but we can't afford to ignore it. ( ... ) All of us, particularly in the EP, are aware that dialogue and mutual respect are needed. ( ... ) Fundamental rights are under great threat today and persecution of a religion – it's a breach of fundamental rights."
Mr Tajani, who is responsible, as vice-president, for inter-religious dialogue, said: "Every month at least 200 churches or places of worship are attacked. Every day, in every region of our planet, we register new cases of systematic violence and persecution against Christians. No other religious community is faced with such hatred, violence and aggression as is the Christian community."
The meeting, which was held under Article 17 of the EU Treaty, on inter-religious dialogue, also featured contributions by Anthony L. Gardner, US ambassador to the EU, Dr Paul Bhatti from Pakistan and Helene Berhane from Eritrea, who sang a gospel song at the end of the meeting.