Motion for a resolution - B7-0040/2011Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation of Christians in the context of freedom of religion


to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Adrian Severin, Hannes Swoboda, David-Maria Sassoli, Richard Howitt, Gianni Pittella, Patrizia Toia on behalf of the S&D Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0039/2011

Procedure : 2011/2521(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected :  


European Parliament resolution on the situation of Christians in the context of freedom of religion

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions and in particular that of 25th November 2010 on Iraq: the death penalty (notably the case of Tariq Aziz) and attacks against Christian communities and of 21st January 2010 on recent attacks on Christian communities,

–   having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966,

–   having regard to the UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination based on Religion and Belief of 1981,

–   having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the European Union has repeatedly expressed its commitment to freedom of religion, freedom of conscience and freedom of thought and has stressed that governments have a duty to guarantee these freedoms all over the world,

B.  whereas Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights declares that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; whereas this right include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching,

C. whereas an attack on Coptic Christians killed and injured innocent civilians in Alexandria on 1st January 2011; whereas in his speech after the attack President Hosni Mubarak said that this act had targeted the Egyptian nation: Copts and Muslims,

D. whereas the celebration of the Christmas Mass in the local church of St. Sinesios in the village of Rizokarpaso in Northern Cyprus was interrupted by force on 25th December 2010,

E.  whereas two Iraqi Christians were killed in Mosul on 22nd November 2010; whereas a series of attacks targeting Christian areas killed innocent civilians in Baghdad on 10th November 2010; whereas these attacks came after Islamist militants had seized a Syriac Catholic cathedral in Baghdad on 31st October 2010, leaving more than 50 worshippers dead,

F.  whereas the assassination of Salmaan Taseer, Governor of Punjab, on 4th January 2011 as well as the case of Asia Bibi in Pakistan provoked protests by the international community,


G. whereas Europe, like other parts of the world, is not exempt from cases of violation of the freedom of religion, attacks on members of religious minorities on the basis of their beliefs, and religiously motivated discrimination,

1.  Condemns the recent attacks on Christian minorities in various countries and expresses its solidarity with the families of the victims;

2.  Expresses its grave concerns about the abuse of religion by the perpetrators of terrorist acts in several areas of the world;

3.   Stresses again that the right to freedom of religion, conscience and thought is a fundamental human right and strongly condemns all kinds of violence, discrimination and intolerance based on religion and belief against religious people, apostates and non-believers;

4.  Urges governments and authorities in all countries concerned to continue their efforts aimed at protecting vulnerable religious communities, including Christian minorities, against violent attacks and to do their utmost to bring the perpetrators of such acts to justice;

5.  Reminds governments in all countries concerned of their obligation to guarantee that members of religious communities enjoy all aspects of the freedom of religion and to prevent any discrimination against them;

6.  Stresses again that the respect for human rights and civil liberties are fundamental principles and aims of the European Union and constitute a common ground in its relations with third countries;

7.  Calls on the Council, the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission to pay increased attention to the subject of the freedom of religion and to the situation of religious minorities in the agreements and cooperation with third countries as well as in human rights reports;

8.  Reiterates its support for all initiatives aimed at promoting dialogue and mutual respect between religious and other communities; encourages all religious authorities to promote tolerance and to take initiatives against hatred and violent and extremist radicalisation;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, parliaments and governments of the Member States, the parliament and government of Egypt, the parliament and government of Iraq, and the parliament and government of Pakistan.