Promote Freedom of Religion Outside the EU
It’s time for the EU to promote freedom of religion around the world.
When the European Parliament recognized that ISIS is committing a genocide of Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities in February 2016, it also called for the creation of a permanent Special Representative for Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB). This Representative would help ensure that these marginalized groups are protected in the future. Unfortunately, the European Parliament has failed to follow through on their promise.
A Special Adviser to the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Developmentwas appointed, but his mandate is only temporary, he is deprived of financial and human resources, and he is not fully integrated into the wider EU foreign strategy and policy world.
Today, almost three years later, the persecution of religious minorities has heightened. Grave violations are reported in the 2018 Religious Freedom in the World Report by Aid to the Church in Need. They point out that 200 million Christians currently suffer from brutal forms of persecution, while 350 million Christians are subject to various forms of discrimination. According to the data collected by Open Doors, as many as 215 million Christians in the world were persecuted in 2017.
Even in high profile cases, such as the current situation involving Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi, the EU has been unwilling and unable to defend the rights of persecuted Christians. As you may know, CitizenGO has been helping Asia Bibi and her family over the last eight years. She is free from jail, but she is still in danger in Pakistan.
For Asia Bibi’s sake, and for the sake of millions of other persecuted Christians, join CitizenGO in urging the EU, the European Commission, and the Council of the European Union to give due attention to the persecution that Christians and other religious minorities are facing.
In particular, we are requesting that the report on the EU Guidelines and the mandate of the EU Special Envoy on the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the EU 2018/2155 (INI), which will be considered on January 15th, call for the creation of an EU Special Representative for the promotion of religious freedom. It is essential that this multi-year mandate is fully integrated into EU foreign policy and includes adequate financial and human resources to effectively promote and protect freedom of religion around the world.
European Elections are getting closer, and it’s time for MEPs and political parties to follow through on their promises to protect persecuted Christians.
It is time for the EU to step up their commitment to promoting and protecting religious freedom!
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Support a Special Representative for Freedom of Religion