REAL HELP FOR PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS AND RELIGIOUS MINORITIES
Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, at least, is safe. Not safe are countless Christian women and men, babies, children and elderly people in Iraq and Syria, in Nigeria and Cameroon, in Sudan, Pakistan, Somalia and Egypt, to name just a few. Christians are driven from their homes. They are thrown in jail for blasphemy, and churches are burned and worshippers regularly slaughtered. Girls are abducted and married against their will.
Christians in Pakistan, such as Asia Bibi, are imprisoned for alleged blasphemy. Pastor Saeed Abedini has spent the last 2 years in Iran’s deadliest prision. At this very moment, Christians in Iraq are being given an ultimatum: covert, leave or die.
According to the International Society for Human Rights, 80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed at Christians.
The Centre for the Study of Global Christianity in the United States estimates that 100,000 Christians now die every year for their faith –that is one every five minutes. Many other religious minorities are suffering because of violence and persecutions in several countries.
The response (or lack of) from European Instutituions is deafening.
During the Italian Semester of chairmanship of the European Council, the Italian Government committed itself in defending and promoting religious freedom and in fighting violence and discriminations on religious grounds. The official Semester program states that “The Presidency will support communitarian initiatives related to freedom of religion and beliefs”
In the last weeks, Christian communities in the Middle East and elsewhere are suffering from very violent attacks that the European Institution must condemn unequivocally and oppose with all means.
On Thursday, July 24th, Meriam landed in Rome thanks to the intervention of the Italian Government and now she is completely safe from the death penalty. Help us urge the Renzi cabinet, during their Chairmanship of the European Council, to commit themselves once again, defending the lives of not only one, but thousands of persecuted Christians and all religious minorities.
We ask the addressees of the petition, considering the Resolution 1928 (2013) and 1957 (2011) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and several document at EU level (3309th Council Meeting of 14th/15th April 2014, Conclusion EU Council of 12th April 2012, 3069th Foreign Affairs Council Meeting of 21st February 2011, Conclusions of the Foreign Affair Council Meeting of 31th January and 10th April 2011), to respect their commitments regarding freedom of religion and beliefs, developing policies of asylum and managing European relations towards foreign countries according to their respect of religious freedom.