Religious persecution at an alarming state worldwide, EU not doing enough – Report

July 13, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-world

Europe, July 07, 2016: The European Parliament Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance (FoRB&RT) released June 30 its “Annual Report on the State of Freedom of Religion or Belief in the World 2015-2016” where it revealed 53 countries suppressing such human rights.Members of the European Parliament (MEP) Peter van Dalen and Dennis de Jong, who also chair the group, raised the alarm on the mass persecution suffered by Christians and religious minorities at the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) terrorist group.

They also criticized the world’s largest economic bloc, the EU, for failing to protect human rights especially from religious persecution.

“Our beliefs are at the core of our human dignity – tragically, however, today not everyone enjoys the freedom to hold and manifest their beliefs,” said Van Dalen.

He also cited the threat of extinction among Christians in Iraq and Syria, the 150 percent increase of religious persecutions in India since 2014, and the continued injustice of Pakistan’s blasphemy law.

Van Dalen said their report included practical recommendations on how EU can help solve the crisis.

He said, “Freedoms of religion or belief must be higher on the EU’s agenda.”

“Regrettably, we observe that the EU, in its external actions, continuously compromises its human rights agenda in favour of a more economic and geopolitical agenda,” added De Jong.

De Jong criticized the EU guidelines, particularly in EU delegations, as lacking in expertise and knowledge. He also said he’s disappointed that the bloc failed to act on their report last year.

In a similar vein, the “2015 Annual Report Chinese Government Persecution of Christians and Churches in China” conducted by a religious persecution watchdog in China, China Aid, revealed that nearly 20,000 religious practitioners were persecuted last year.

“In 2015, China Aid documented 634 cases of persecution in which 19,426 religious practitioners were persecuted, representing an 8.62 percent increase from 2014’s 17,884 religious practitioners persecuted,” read a statement in China Aid’s report.


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