ADVERTISING
 
Monday, October 22   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
Media
Do the media in your country usually portray evangelical Christians accurately?



SEE MORE POLLS
 

 
TOP 10 MOST VIEWED



Refugees
 

Christian refugees in Europe face “double penalty”, experts say

“Belief-based intolerance and discrimination of refugees is a pan-European problem”, Christian organisations said during a hearing at the European Parliament. 

SOURCES EEA BRUSSELS 07 JUNE 2017 18:00 h GMT+1
refugees General view of the hearing at the European Parliament. / The Refugee Campaign

On Wednesday 31st May, the European Evangelical Alliance (EEA) organised a hearing in the European Parliament: “D2uble Penalty: Refugees and freedom of religion or belief”. 



The event was promoted by The Refugee Campaign and co-hosted by MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) Branislav Škripek  and Lars Adaktusson.



50 participants attended the hearing session, included some MEPs and their office. “This was the occasion to raise awareness on the double penalty refugees from religious minorities experience when arriving in Europe: harassment and persecution in camps after fleeing violence in their home country”, the organisers explained.



The hearing also was useful to discuss policy challenges and recommendations.



 



“A PAN-EUROPEAN PROBLEM”



In addition to the reports introduced by Open Doors and Christian Solidarity Worldwide, several other research papers were briefly presented. These resources could serve well while drafting further policy recommendations.



From the various interventions it became clear that “religion or belief-based intolerance and discrimination of refugees is a pan-European problem. That’s why it is important to share materials and ideas that could be applied in all EU Member States. Some great suggestions were made that will need further attention.”



 



Several speakers participated in the event. / The Refugee Campaign



During the hearing, it was said that “it is good to realise that refugees bring their own culture and that, as a result, reception centres and refugee camps are microcosms of their own. This should be taken into account by officials responsible for managing camps and accommodation centres.”



Introducing refugees to their host culture should start as soon as possible. A YouTube animation film and related posters shared by Stichting Gave were interesting examples of such efforts.”



Although from a manageability perspective, the focus of camp authorities will be on the majority, “the religious minorities in the camp need empowerment eg by a supportive environment from local faith communities.”



 



“THERE IS A LOT TO BE DONE IN TERMS OF EDUCATION”



The ‘Gave’ Foundation and Howard Stern from the International Christian Consulate both underlined the need to strengthen training of officials, security staff and accommodation managers on human rights and religious freedom. This also applies to lawyers supporting asylum seekers, especially lawyers dealing with applications from converts.



 



General view of the participants. / The Refugee Campaign



“Training should not be limited to physical get-togethers. There are great opportunities for online training as well”, which was underlined extensively in the afternoon workshop. The ‘Gave’ Foundation (NL) and The Open University (UK) shared initial ideas which could lay the foundation for a high-impact educational initiatives, some of which already exist, which we could all benefit from.



A critical need appeared for education programmes for refugees and host communities on cultural awareness and European values of non-discrimination, religious tolerance and democracy.



 



THE ROLE OF CHURCHES



“Church communities have shown that they can be ressources of moral support for asylum seekers”, it was said. Training in asylum issues and procedures as well as on reporting potential problems in camps to the right authority would bolster both individual support and reporting on behalf of asylum seekers.



 Other suggestions made were:



- Create a list of MPs/MEPs with refugee accommodation facilities in their constituency



- Revise UNHCR vulnerability criteria to reflect the situation of individuals under pressure for their religion or belief



- Tackle the issue of translators’ and interpreters’ integrity regarding religion, ethnicity and language



- Work with accommodation authorities to better identify and protect converts amongst refugees



- Document and counter the rise of violence during Ramadan, and more generally prevent the implementation of shari’a law within refugee camps



- Work together on reforming the asylum claim system with guidelines, best practices and common materials: for example guidelines for conversion assessment in asylum claims, provision of training materials (more information will follow)



- The necessity to link organisations on the ground with advocacy organisations and academia



- Conduct a thorough European-wide research on cases of harassment/persecution of religious minorities in camps



- Invest in interfaith dialogue



- Explore opportunities to get the Fundamental Rights Agency involved in addressing violations of freedom of conscience and religion of refugees.



 


 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - Christian refugees in Europe face “double penalty”, experts say
 
ADVERTISING
 
 
AUDIOS Audios
 
Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church

An interview with Lars Dahle, of the Steering Committee of the Lausanne Movement Global Consultation on Nominal Christianity held in Rome.

 
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).

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
Photos: #WalkForFreedom Photos: #WalkForFreedom

Abolitionists marched through 400 cities in 51 countries. Pictures from Valencia (Spain), October 20.

 
Photos: Reaching people with disabilities Photos: Reaching people with disabilities

Seminars, an arts exhibition, discussion and testimonies. The European Disability Network met in Tallinn.

 
Photos: Hope for Europe Photos: Hope for Europe

Unity in Diversity is the theme of the conference. Representatives of Evangelical Alliances and many other church leaders gathered in Tallinn (Estonia).

 
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.

 
VIDEO Video
 
Biotechnology: “There is a difference between restoration and enhancement” Biotechnology: “There is a difference between restoration and enhancement”

“We have to understand the times in which we live, and have discernment”, says Doctor Peter J. Saunders.

 
The Manzanas case The Manzanas case

A short documentary about how retired pastors and widows of an evangelical denomination in Spain fight a legal battle for their pensions after the favourable ruling of the European Court of Human Rights.

 
How does romantic love change over time? How does romantic love change over time?

Psychatrist Pablo Martínez uses a metaphor to explain how romantic love evolves.

 
‘Mediterráneo’ ‘Mediterráneo’

“Something will change if you have hunger and thirst for justice”, sings Spanish artist Eva Betoret in a song about the refugee crisis.

 
How the loss of universal values led to a loss of civility How the loss of universal values led to a loss of civility

Author Bruce Little: “We have moved from a sense of responsibility to ‘my personal rights’”.

 
 
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.