Discrimination Against Christians in Europe on the Rise

15 countries in Europe have laws that could negatively affect Christians

Chiara Santomiero
28.05.2013 // PRINT
Legal and administrative discrimination against Christians in Europe is on the rise, says the well-known Turin sociologist Dr. Massimo Introvigne, Coordinator of the Observatory on Religious Liberty established by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who spoke on the occasion of the conclusion of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) High-Level Conference on Non-Discrimination held in Tirana, Albania and the 22 May presentation in Vienna of the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians’ Report (in which the Italian Observatory collaborated) on legal discrimination against Christians in Europe.
“In Europe, we have identified 14 laws that are likely to negatively affect the religious liberty of Christians in 15 countries. Fortunately, Italy is not among them. In 2012, we also reported 169 rulings made in European courts that we judged to be dangerous to the freedom of Christians.”
“The most dangerous areas,” Introvigne stated, “are those which limit the conscientious objection of Christians who do not want to cooperate in abortion, the sale of abortifacient pills, or the celebration of same-sex marriage; those which limit the freedom to preach through the misuse of laws against so-called ‘hate speech’; those which restrict the freedom of religious education and parents’ rights to educate their children, and those which place restrictions on the use of religious symbols.”
The Italian sociologist further added that 74 percent of European Christians think they suffer greater discrimination that persons of other faiths or atheists; 71 percent think the media generally does not respect Christians; and 61 percent believe that Christians are discriminated against at their work-place.
“Naturally,” Introvigne concluded, “it would be a mistake to place homicidal violence against Christians occurring in some countries of Africa and Asia on the same plane with legal and administrative discrimination against Christians in Europe. But in terms of religious liberty, the logic of the inclined plane applies. Where discrimination becomes normal, the transition to violence is never far away.”

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