German parliament says no to Day Against Persecution of Christians
A large majority refuses the initiative of the AfD party saying it would criminalise Muslims and is based on “wrong” data.
Bundestag, Pro Medien Magazin · BERLIN · 31 JANUARY 2023 · 12:00 CET
The German Bundestag (federal parliament) refused the proposal of promoting a new “International Day against the Persecution of Christians”.
The motion presented last week by the Alternative for Germany (AfD, hard right) was for the federal government “to end the worldwide persecution of Christians in the form of persecution, discrimination, and even cultural devaluation as a burning as a burning problem and to outlaw it”.
Working for establishing this day in the international agenda to “combat Christianophobia” would include “engaging in diplomatic talks at the European and UN levels”, showing the “significance of Christianity for German and Western culture”.
The AfD spokesperson proposed the 15 February, because it was that day in 2015 when the so-called Islamic State (Daesh) published the video of the decapitation of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya. In the motion, the party underlind that “Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world”, quoting the latest Open Doors World Watch List for 2023.
Strong opposition from the rest of parties
But the proposal found no support from other political groups in the Bundestag, according to German magazine Pro Medien Magazin. The Social Democratic SPD said the proposal came out “hate” and “Islamophobia” of the AfD, which has a hard anti-immigration stance. The Green Party agreed that the AfD only wanted to present themselves as the “defenders of Christianity” and that human rights were for everyone not for only one faith group.
The Liberals FDP said that “Jews, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists” all suffer persecution in certain contexts and “are persecutors also com from all religions”. Meanwhile, the conservatives CDU, said: “To end the great injustice worldwide for all persecuted religions, for all minorities, all people, one day of remembrance is certainly not enough”.
Criticism against Open Doors
The fact that the motion for a International Day Against the Persecution of Christians used data from the Open Doors World Watch List of countries where it is most dangerous to be a Christians was not well received by some parliamentarians.
The Green representative Boris Mijatovic questioned the figures of the Open Doors report as “wrong”. The Social Democrat Falko Drossman went further and said the information of “a well-known evangelical organisation” are “more than questionable”, adding that “they and their fundamentalist cronies in the world stand against the churches, against the idea of Christianity, against the majority of this House and against the majority of the people of our country”.
Watch the video of the debate on the issue in the German Bundestag (in German).
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