ADVERTISING
 
Monday, July 23   Sign in or Register
 
Evangelical Focus
 
Flecha
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
FOLLOW US ON
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google +
  • Instagram
  • Soundcloud
 

Newsletter
Newsletter, sign up to receive all our News by email.
 
 

POLL
Migration
Do Christians in your country have a Bible-based understanding of how migrants should be treated?




SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Political action required
 

“Freedom of religion must be higher on EU agenda”

A report launched by the EU Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief analyses the restrictions in 53 countries. “Human rights should not be a hobby, they should be a core task for a diplomat.”

SOURCES FoRB & RT, World Watch Monitor AUTHOR Evangelical Focus BRUSSELS 05 JULY 2016 18:09 h GMT+1
The report was launched on June 30, 2016. / Eu Parliament

The European Parliament Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance (FoRB & RT), launched on June 30 its third annual report (read here) on the state of freedom of religion or belief in the world for 2015.



The newly appointed EU Special Envoy for freedom of religion or belief outside the European Union, the former education commissioner Ján Figel attended the event to introduce his mandate, which will be “external-oriented via areas of international cooperation and development.”



The report finds that global restrictions to freedom of religion or belief have continued to be severely restricted in 53 countries.



“This is a document to change the reality through the European Union institutions”, explained its co-president, Peter Van Dalen, a member of the European Parliament. It gives recommendations for the European External Action Service (EEAS), the Council and the European Commission.



 



“HIGHER ON THE EU AGENDA”



“Tragically, today not everyone enjoys the freedom to hold and manifest their beliefs. We have witnessed the near extinction of Christians in Iraq and Syria; a 150% rise in violent faith-related incidents in Inida since 2014; and in Pakistan the injustice of Asia Bibi’s death sentence for blasphemy continues. Freedom of religion or belief must be higher on the EU’s agenda”, Van Dalen said.



MEP and co-chair of the Intergroup, Dennis de Jong added: “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. We have witnessed a concerning lack of expertise and knowledge on the EU Guidelines, especially in EU delegations.”



“Human rights should not be a hobby, they should be a core task for a diplomat, who should engage with civil society and religious leaders. We should not allow that human rights ‘go down’ because the EU has other priorities”, De Jong concluded.



 



FoRB & RT Logo



 



INSTITUTIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS



To the European External Action Service:



- Further training needed for diplomatic staff in the EU Delegations: awareness of the Guidelines for the promotion of FoRB. Ensuring mandatory training for at least one staff person per Delegation.



- Evaluation of the implementation of the guidelines, particularly in the countries highlighted in the report.



- Country-specific FoRB action plans.



- Support for civil society, including religious or belief organisations that promote FoRB.



 



Recommendations to the European Commission:



- Extension of the Special Envoy’s mandate to the end of the European Parliament’s term (summer 2019). Ask to work in cooperation.



- Engage in an informal dialogue with the Intergroup.



 



To the European Council:



- To evaluate the follow-up given to its conclusions by the Commission, the EEAS and Member States at least within half a year after their adoption.



- To encourage ministers to engage directly with religious leaders. Moderate leaders often hold the key to genuine and reconciliation processes in countries and regions torn by religiously motivated conflict.



 



FAILED STATES



The report classified the countries according to the lack of freedom they “suffer”, and it proposes recommendations to the EU to help those countries.



The worst countries are those that the report calls “failed states”, which “show great instability in many aspects, including the absence of the rule of law, strong internal political, social and/or economic pressures, violence, almost no legitimate authority to make collective decisions, inability to provide public services and so forth, with the overall effect of leaving religious and belief minorities unprotected by the state’s rule of law; and thus entirely exposed to violence.”



Those countries are: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen.



The Intergroup says the EU should:



- Special attention to the position of religious minorities in the context of peace-building.



- Ensure that no weapons are delivered to one of the parties in the internal conflict.



- Send emergency humanitarian aid.



 



EU Special Envoy for freedom of religion or belief, Ján Figel.



FOCAL COUNTRIES



Besides failed states, the Intergroup distinguishes certain countries as “focal”.



Those countries have been selected on the basis of “human rights violations by the governments or the lack of positive action by the governments to protect religious communities from persecution; and according to the leverage the EU can have. “



The countries listed in this group are: Burma, China, Eritrea, India, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Brunei, and Maldives.



For each country, the report explains its relation with the EU and gives one or two specific recommendations for the EU institutions to help that country.





COUNTRY PROFILES



The report finishes with the description of the 53 countries selected by the Intergroup, where FoRB is seriously under threat.



The data was gathered through civil society organisations, and it focuses in three parameters: religious demographics, government restrictions, and non-governmental restrictions.


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - “Freedom of religion must be higher on EU agenda”
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation Ruth Valerio: A lifestyle that cares about creation

Are Christians called to make a difference in environmental care? What has creation care to do with "loving our neighbours"? An interview with the Global Advocacy and Influencing Director of Tearfund.

 
Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA Kathy Bryan: Online sex trafficking in the USA

“Prostitution is nobody’s dream,  it’s a very traumatic lifestyle”, says Kathy Bryan, director of the Elevate Academy. She mentors former victims.

 
Christians in politics? Christians in politics?

What is the role of Christians serving in politics? An interview with Auke Minnema, the new General Director of the European Christian Political Movement (ECPM).

 
Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies Michael Ramsden: Communicating the Gospel in today’s societies

RZIM International Director Michael Ramsden responds to questions about the secularisation of Europe, the role of Christians in public leadership and the new ‘culture of victimism’.

 
Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe Michael Schluter: Relationships are the key to build Europe

The economist summarises the manifesto “Confederal Europe: Strong Nations, Strong Union” and explains why personal relationships should be at the centre of our economy, education and democracy. 

 
Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues Efraim Tendero: Relationship with Roman Catholicism and other current issues

The World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General participated in the Italian Evangelical Alliance assembly (Rome, 8-9 April). In this interview with Evangelical Focus, Bp Tendero talks about the need to listen to local churches and to face challenges like the refugee crisis and climate change. 

 
Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum Greg Pritchard: European Leadership Forum

Pritchard explains the vision of ELF, comments on the 2015 event in Poland and reflects on what it means to have an "evangelical identity".

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow Sharing Jesus with World Cup fans in Moscow

A team of Steiger mission is starting conversations about the gospel in the middst of the football celebration in Russia.

 
Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible Analysing current issues in the light of the Bible

At the 2018 Apologetics Forum in Comarruga (Spain), Michael Ramsden, Pablo Martinez, Ruth Valerio and José de Segovia analysed how society and the Bible approach the issues of personal identity, integrity, sexuality, pop culture, and environmental care.

 
European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga European “Bridges to Inclusion” gathering 2018, in Riga

The network of Christian ministries working for the inclusion of people with disabilities, celebrated its tenth continental meeting in Latvia with the participation of 12 countries.

 

 
Coexistence in the church - a model for society Coexistence in the church - a model for society

“Gospel, identity and coexistence” were the themes of the General Assembly of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance. Two days in Palma de Mallorca to reflect about the role of evangelical churches in society.

 
'Ungi kulimi changana' 'Ungi kulimi changana'

Educator and journalist Jordi Torrents shares images of the Sekeleka social centre in Mozambique. About 50 children live there, many with some kind of disability. All photos were taken with permission.

 
The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve The President in an evangelical church on Christmas Eve

For the first time, the President of Portugal attended a worship service in an evangelical church. It was in Sintra, on Christmas Eve.

 
VIDEO Video
 
“No one should have to leave their values at the door” “No one should have to leave their values at the door”

Author Krish Kandiah talks with politician Tim Farron about the Christian faith, politics and secularism.

 
What are the essential characteristics of a godly leader? What are the essential characteristics of a godly leader?

Clinical Pastoral Counsellor Emoke Tapolyai reflect on three characteristics Christians who have been given leadership roles should develop.

 
Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’ Reaching non-Christian ‘Christians’

How can we reach those who call themselves ‘Christians’ but have not experienced a conversion to Christ? Forty missiologists and mission practitioners came together for a Lausanne Movement global consultation in Rome.

 
Trailer: “The Peace Between” Trailer: “The Peace Between”

A film about the experience of refugees in Europe. Churches, small groups and individuals are encouraged to use it during Refugee Week: 17-24 June.

 
Heart Heart

A short animation film by Swiss cartoonist Alain Auderset tells the message of the Bible in four minutes.

 
Philip Yancey interview Philip Yancey interview

An 8-minute interview with Philip Yancey on the role of Christians in a secularised society. Recorded in Madrid, September 2016.

 
An interview with Prof. John Lennox An interview with Prof. John Lennox

New atheism, the definition of "faith", Christianity in Europe, the role of the Bible in mission, and the need to listen more. An exclusive interview recorded at "Forum Apologética" (Tarragona, Spain) in May 2016.

 
 
Follow us on Soundcloud
Follow us on YouTube
 
 
WE RECOMMEND
 
PARTNERS
 

 
AEE
EVANGELICAL FOCUS belongs to Areópago Protestante, linked to the Spanish Evangelical Alliance (AEE). AEE is member of the European
Evangelical Alliance and World Evangelical Alliance.
 

Opinions expressed are those of their respective contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of Evangelical Focus.