ADVERTISING
 
Wednesday, April 24   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
Bible literacy
How often do you read the Bible?







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
 
Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels Julia Doxat-Purser: 25 years of EEA office in Brussels

An interview with the socio-political representative of the European Evangelical Alliance about how evangelical Christians work at the heart of the European Union.

 
Lars Dahle: Nominal Christianity, a mission field for the church Lars Dahle: 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.

 
Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process Arie de Pater: Refugees deserve a fair and efficient process

The Brussels representative of the European Evangelical Alliance offers a Christian perspective on the crisis: “We can’t reduce people to just a number that needs to be controlled”.

 
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’.

 
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.

 
PICTURES Pictures
 
AEA Plaza opens to serve African evangelicals AEA Plaza opens to serve African evangelicals

After many years of labour, the Association of Evangelicals in Africa officially opened its new centre in Nairobi, Kenya. “Africa, your time has come!”, said the World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General Efraim Tendero.

 
‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’ ‘Small churches, big potential for transformation’

Photos of the Spanish Evangelical Alliance’s annual gathering “Idea 2019”, in Murcia. Politicians and church leaders discussed about the role of minorities in society.

 
Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities Bulgaria: Evangelicals ask government to protect religious minorities

Christians rallied in Sofia on November 18 to defend their rights. It is the second Sunday of peaceful demonstrations against a new religion draft law that could severely restrict religious freedom and rights of minority faith confessions.

 
Rallies in Bulgaria: “New bill on religion brings us back to Communism!” Rallies in Bulgaria: “New bill on religion brings us back to Communism!”

Bulgarian evangelicals protested peacefully on November 11 against a draft law which could severely restrict religious freedom of faith minorities. Churches rallied in Sofia and other cities after the Sunday worship services.

 
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.

 
VIDEO Video
 
What can we learn from copying errors about the transmission of the biblical text? What can we learn from copying errors about the transmission of the biblical text?

“There is no evidence whatsoever of any systematic revision from the text from the begining to the end”, says researcher Dirk Jongkind.

 
Romania: God’s Word among Roma people Romania: God’s Word among Roma people

Gypsies are one of the largest ethnic minority groups in Romania. According to 2013 estimates, the Roma groups make up 10% of the country's population, accounting for about 1.5 million people.

 
Latin American leaders unite to fight against imposition of gender ideology Latin American leaders unite to fight against imposition of gender ideology

Christian leaders from all over Latin America are concerned about the progress of gender ideology agendas in the region. Many are joining together in public demonstrations and training events.

 
How do fake news spread? How do fake news spread?

Tony Watkins, Coordinator of the Lausanne Media Engagement Network.

 
Lindsay Brown: The encouraging advance of the gospel in Spain Lindsay Brown: The encouraging advance of the gospel in Spain

Church planting, the amount of books authored by Spanish evangelicals and the growth of the Christian student movement in the last decades, are some of the marks underlined by Lindsay Brown.

 
Church planting in Strasbourg Church planting in Strasbourg

A video on how evangelicals are planting churches in Strasbourg (France).

 
 
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.