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European Parliament criticised over ‘hostile’ report on persecution of non secular minorities

(Photograph: Unsplash/Frederic Köberl)

The European Parliament has been challenged over a brand new report on the persecution of non secular minorities that criticises faith as “an essential driver of battle worldwide”.

The report was adopted by the European Parliament on Tuesday following a debate.

It “underlines that the instrumentalisation of faith and perception constitutes an essential driver of battle worldwide”.

The report has been criticised on a variety of factors, together with its failure to say the plight of Christians in Africa and the Center East, regardless of warnings that they’re vulnerable to being wiped out in some areas

Critics additionally raised issues that the report condemns religions for his or her beliefs on marriage and the safety of life from conception till pure demise. 

The report laments that “sexual and reproductive well being and rights (SRHR), together with abortion, are being banned within the identify of faith by each state and non-state actors”. 

“Deep concern” is expressed about “the misuse and instrumentalisation of perception or faith to impose discriminatory insurance policies” and legal guidelines or restrictions “that contradict and undermine the rights of LGBTIQ individuals”, “limit entry to primary providers, corresponding to schooling and well being, together with sexual and reproductive rights”, and which “criminalise abortion in all circumstances”.

The report “requires the repeal of the related insurance policies, legal guidelines or restrictions which are typically translated into nationwide laws as secular restrictions”. 

Talking through the debate in Strasbourg, Slovak MEP Miriam Lexmann mentioned that the report had been “hijacked” and that the European Parliament must be defending persecuted spiritual minorities as a substitute of taking “ideological anti-religious stands”.

“Mr President, from Nigeria to China, the state of non secular freedom continues to deteriorate. From genocide to authorized restrictions, a whole bunch of tens of millions of believers – be they Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, or different teams – are dealing with horrible struggling day by day,” she mentioned.

“Whereas I welcome the EP’s report on the persecution of non secular freedom, I can’t assist however specific my dismay on the approach this report has been hijacked to stigmatise faith itself.

“Right now, spiritual persecution is among the key drivers of lots of the challenges the world faces. And that is why not ideological anti-religious stands, however agency assist for the persecuted around the globe, along with the appointment of a brand new particular envoy for freedom of faith, supported with the best devices, have to be the precedence.”

Critics voiced additional frustration over the elimination of all however one reference to Christianity from the ultimate draft, despite Christians suffering widespread persecution, whereas issues have been repeatedly expressed for the welfare of atheists, humanists and different non-religious individuals.

On the function of the Particular Envoy for the promotion of freedom of faith or perception outdoors the EU – a publish that has been vacant for over a 12 months – the report mentioned that the following incumbent also needs to deal with selling “the rights to non-belief, apostasy and the espousal of atheistic views, whereas additionally being attentive to the scenario of non-believers in danger”. 

Elsewhere the report “observes that atheism and non-religious teams are rising quickly and must be handled equally beneath the EU coverage framework”.

Commenting on the report, Jean-Paul Van De Walle, authorized counsel with human rights group, ADF Worldwide, mentioned, “No person must be persecuted due to their religion. It’s unacceptable that this report, which is supposed to face in solidarity with these affected by persecution due to their religion, is overtly hostile in direction of faith.

“By adopting the wording of this report, the European Parliament has undermined its credibility of wanting to handle the challenges spiritual minorities face worldwide.” 

The Catholic Church within the European Union (COMECE) mentioned that the report could be of no assist to the tens of millions of individuals being persecuted for his or her faith.

“Any try to undermine the best to freedom of thought, conscience and faith and the best to life via abusive interpretations that unduly limit their respectable scope or to topic them to newly created and non-consensual ‘so-called human rights’, together with abortion, represent a severe violation of the worldwide legislation that discredits the European Union earlier than the worldwide group and earlier than tens of millions of European residents,” mentioned COMECE Common Secretary Fr Manuel Barrios Prieto.

“Any therapy of those human rights as second-class rights contradicts the Declaration and Programme of Motion of the 1993 Vienna World Convention on Human Rights, which calls on the worldwide group to think about all human rights ‘in a good and equal method, on the identical footing, and with the identical emphasis’.

“Moreover, this movement for decision, in its present wording, is not going to be of assist for tens of millions of non secular believers who’re victims of persecution due to their religion, specifically weak girls and women, as their scenario might be obscured and rendered invisible by prioritizing different political pursuits.”

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