ADVERTISING
 
Sunday, October 21   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



Religious freedom
 

“Advocating for religious freedom is more difficult now than 15 years ago”

Christel Lamère Ngnambi, Brussels Representative of the European Evangelical Alliance, talks about religious freedom and freedom of conscience.

SOURCES FOCL AUTHOR Evangelical Focus 28 DECEMBER 2016 19:40 h GMT+1

Freedom of conscience and religious freedom are some of the fundamental Human Rights that any individual or country should have. But is that a reality today?



Throughout 2016, there have been many examples that show the lack of religious freedom and freedom of conscience that many experience worldwide.



 



Christel Lamère Ngnambi.

Christel Lamère Ngnambi has served for 8 years as the Brussels Representative of the European Evangelical Alliance (EEA). The Brussels office of the EEA promotes active citizenship of its constituency and represents evangelicals to the European Institutions.



Christel’s main tasks as Brussels Representative include monitoring decision-making and political trends within the European Union, developing an evangelical Christian approach to a set of issues and being the voice of Europe’s 20 million evangelical Christians.



In an interview with the European Leadership Forum, Lamère talked about advocacy and religious freedom in Europe.



 



WHY IS FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE IMPORTANT?



Lamère believes that “freedom of concience is the freedom that recognises us the freedom to form opinions, to form beliefs, to be convinced about things concerning God, eternity or humanity.”



All that “is the real foundation for our impulses for serving our neighbour; for being obedient, considering the law is important; for building associations; all of that is based on our beliefs, on our worldview, and freedom of concience is really the recognition of the centrality of what happen in our hearts”, he adds.





 



“RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, ONE OF THE CORNERSTONES OF HUMAN RIGHTS”



“Freedom of religion is one of the cornerstones of human rights, and one of the oldest - if not the oldest - fundamental freedoms that was recognised. In fact, in the Bible, King Cyrus gave religious freedom to the israelites”, the EEA Representative says.



Religious freedom is also “as some people have put it, `the canary on the coal mine´ for human rights and peace. The places in the world where people have less freedom, generally, and where developement is more difficult, are often places where there is little or poor religious freedom”, he states.



Actually, “research shows that aboout 75% of the world population lives in countries where there are moderate or serious violations of religious freedom.”



That is why “Christians, alongside others, should regain or rediscover the importance of freedom of concience, for our brothers and sisters in many places in the world, our brothers and sisters in Europe who are also suffering, but also for the rest of humanity, this is part of the common good”, Christel points out.





 



“A CIVIL PUBLIC SQUARE”



Lamère Ngnambi explains that “with the emergence of the global public square, things you say or do in London today, may have direct consequences in things that happen in Baghdad tomorrow. So we need to be conscious of the diversity and understand that we cannot go away with it, that religion is going to stay.”



He emphasises that it is important to understand that each player has its role: “Churches need to be churches, the state should do what it must do to promote public justice in an even-handed way, not giving favoritism to any group, it should function within its limits.”



But, how do we live together with our differences? “The vision that we promote, and we have done that with doctor Os Guiness, is the vision of a civil public square. It's a vision of freedom for people, to express their inner values, and beliefs, to have freedom to engage in the public square, but in a context, in a framework of the great values and principles, and the recognition that what is true for me, its true for you, recognising that my rights are the same as yours.”





 



“RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IS UNDER THREAT”



Lamère sees “a lot of encouraging signs of progress, specially in the way Christian comunities understand the importance of religious freedom, and now the EU understand religious freedom better.”



But “religious freedom, freedom of conscience, which many would call the mother of all freedoms, has been described as a human right under threat, and threats come from various sites, like redefinition of religious freedom, considering it as a freedom of worship: you are free to worship, to believe, to practice, within the walls of your church, or your house, but, please, do not bring your faith to your workplace, or in the streets, or in the public square”, he adds



“That is a problem, because religious freedom is a maximal freedom, there can be limitations to religious freedom, but even these limitations are limited by law, this is what the Declaration of Human Rights says, what the European convention of Human Rights says.”



 



ADVOCATING FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM



The problem is that “there is a reinterpretation of that freedom, and also a pressure coming, on the one hand, from the radicalised secularism [...] but also from the difficulty that Europe has as society with diversity, we have difficulties dealing with diversity, and what we are really lacking is a vision for diversity politics.”



“How do we live together with our deepest diferences, when we disagree about fundamental things? Is still possible to live together? What kind of societies do we want to build? The lack of understanding and vision of these issues,is one of the reasons why advocating for religious freedom is more difficult now that it would have been 15 years ago.”




 

 


0
COMMENTS

    If you want to comment, or

 



 
 
YOUR ARE AT: - - “Advocating for religious freedom is more difficult now than 15 years ago”
 
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: 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.

 
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.

 

 
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.