Our Publications

Report 2015: Christian Refugees

In this publication:

This report explains the scope of the problem, provides examples of responses and potential solutions, and gives the Observatory’s recommendations to policymakers and aid organisations.

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Report 2014: Intolerant Equality Laws

In this publication:

This short report explains the problem of intolerant equality laws and provides many examples of court cases. In addition it presents the 150 most striking incidents of intolerance against Christians in Europe in 2014.

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The Global Human Rights Landscape

In this publication:

This short guide seeks to answer three questions: What are the international and regional human rights institutions that exist around the world, why do they matter and how can individuals and organizations get involved?

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Latest Updates

  • Watch conference sessions

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  • Conference Conclusions: Religious Freedom at Risk in Europe and Beyond

    High-level European officials and other experts attending an international one-day conference on November 26th said European governments and the international community were failing to address religious discrimination and the persecution of Christians in Europe and around the world with the seriousness it deserves. Keep reading...

  • 1,800 Cases of Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians now online. Try our advanced search

  • Statistics, reports and official documents on the marginalisation of Christians in Europe.

Quotations

  • "Christianity isn’t being violently rejected from the public sphere, but quietly banned from all areas of the collective memory."

    – Jean-Pierre Denis, June 2011

  • “it is an infringement of freedom to require businesses to aid the promotion of ideas to which they conscientiously object. Discrimination against people should be unlawful, but not against ideas”.

    – Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell on Ashers Baking Co. case, February 2016

  • "I imagine many Christians today feel under threat... We don’t have to agree with them, but we must recognise their right to disagree with us."

    – Roger Helmer, September 2010

  • “Christianity is under pressure from a form of secularism, particularly in Europe... It seems that there is a fear of allowing religion to play a role in public life.”

    – UN Economic and Social Council, December 2004

  • In many jurisdictions in Europe and North America, religious freedom can all too easily be 'trumped' by other rights.

    – Roger Trigg, February 2012

  • "We often hear about Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and very little is said about Christianophobia, which is gaining strength in many European countries."

    – Russian-Orthodox Metropolit Hilarion, January 2008

  • "These are worrying signs of a failure to appreciate not only the rights of believers to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, but also the legitimate role of religion in the public square."

    – Pope Benedict XVI, September 2010

  • “They shout Quranic verses. These are words that IS shouts before they cut off people’s heads. I cannot stay here. I am a Christian.”

    – A young Syrian refugee in Germany , September 2015

  • “Nerv nicht rum, du katholischer konservativer Trottel… ansonsten brennt es demnächst bei dir. Deine Adresse ist bekannt.”

    – From a letter threatening arson against Catholic blogger., November 2015

  • “This verdict is a defeat for freedom of expression. As well as meaning that Ashers can be legally forced to aid the promotion of same-sex marriage, it also implies that gay bakers could be forced by law to decorate cakes with homophobic slogans.” Homosexual rights activist Peter Tatchell

    – , October 2016

  • "[There is a] crisis of religious freedom by the development of an aggressive form of secularism which seeks to condemn Christians to a marginalization in public life."

    – Jaime Urcelay, May 2011

  • Christians are dying because of their beliefs, because they are defenseless and because the world is indifferent to their suffering. Good people must join together and stop this revolting wave of violence.

    – Ronald S. Lauder is the president of the World Jewish Congress, August 2014

  • It is “the task of every civil society to support religion, which allows a light to shine through, indispensable for living.”

    – Pope Francis in Azerbaijan, October 2016

  • “I am not Catholic, but I think there is prejudice and especially major anti-clericalism that is taking on enormous proportions in Europe.”

    – Bernard-Henri Lévy, September 2010

  • “I am gay and I am atheist but... it seems to me that what we are doing is producing a tyrannous new morality that is every bit as oppressive as the old.”

    – David Starkey, March 2011

  • "The influence of a certain anti-Christian attitude is being spread through the media, in textbooks or in public opinion."

    – Cardinal Peter Erdö, September 2011

  • "One can only regret the silence of the media and the institutions when it comes to the very numerous desecration of Christian sites."

    – Louis Guédon, French member of parliament, September 2012

  • "Excluding signs of Christian civilization from Europe does not make it a place friendlier to non-Christians."

    – Russian-Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion, September 2011

  • “No state can define religious neutrality as treating religious organizations worse than everyone else. That isn’t neutrality; it’s a hostility to religion that violates the First Amendment.”

    – ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman, January 2016

  • “Societies in which freedom of religion and speech flourish are more resilient, more stable, more peaceful, and more productive.”

    – Hilary Clinton, Nov. 2010

  • "If the Catholic Church cannot distribute a booklet on Catholic teaching to Catholics, who can it distribute them to?"

    – Legal Rights Project director Simon Breheny said about anti-discrimination complaint in Australia., November 2015

  • "In Europe, the concept of God is not just an abstract cipher, but it is significantly influenced by the Christian image of God."

    – Bishop Stephan Ackermann, criticizing the removal of crucifixes from courtrooms in Germany, May 2016

  • "We need to create a country in which people can be unashamedly proud of their faith – where they don’t feel that they have to leave religion at the door."

    – Baroness Warsi, November 2011

  • “The intention was clearly to violently attack this Christian place of worship. And two months after the assassination of Father Hamel, emotion remains strong in the Catholic community. To attack a church is to attack every Christian."

    – Fr Nicholas Maine, on the desecration of Church Saint-Henri, September 2016

  • “Will the right to criticise and caricature a religion become more important in this country than the right to express one's religious experiences?”

    – Council of Evangelicals in France, responding to verdict against two men for distributing leaflet., November 2015

  • “It is curious that atheists have proved to be so intolerant of those who have a faith.”

    – Chris Patten, April 2011

  • “7 out of 10 Anglican clergy experienced some kind of violence from 1999 to 2001.”

    – Independent Academic Research study, September 2001

  • 485 cemeteries or places of worship were damaged between January 1st and September 30th, 2010. 410 were Christian sites, 40 Muslim sites and 35 Jewish sites.

    – Former Minister M. Hortefeux, November 2010

  • “[It is] almost socially unacceptable to say you believe in God.”

    – Jeremy Vine, 2009

  • "Does fairness and equality only apply to people who are non-Christians in this country?"

    – UK House of Commons, M. Jackson, Feb. 2009

  • "Hate incidents and hate crimes directed against Christians strike at the core values of the OSCE community."

    – Lamberto Zannier, September 2011

  • "Christians [in the UK] continue to voice concern about the ability to express their faith in the workplace."

    – Report on International Religious Freedom of US state department, Nov. 2010

  • “…the idea that Christian traditionalism menaces and encircles secular minorities is preposterous—as antiquated as decrying fluoride in the water supply, or motorized travel."

    – Mary Eberstadt, It's Dangerous to Believe: Religious Freedom and Its Enemies, June 2016

  • "You stand a better chance of earnest representation if you are a hedgehog [than a Christian in the UK] – and I speak as a patron of the Hedgehog Protection Society."

    – Miss Widdecombe, October 2011

  • "The only religion the West permits criticism of is Christianity."

    – Dennis Prager, July 2007

  • “Forcing someone to promote a view that they fundamentally disagree with is the antithesis of a free and fair society.” Peter Lynas of the Evangelical Alliance on the Ashers Baking lost appeal.

    – , October 2016

  • "My beliefs about marriage and sexual ethics reflect mainstream, biblical understanding, shared by millions around the world. Simply expressing that understanding, in a personal capacity, on my Facebook page, cannot be allowed to become a bar to serving and helping others in a professional capacity as a social worker."

    – Felix Ngole, expelled for expressing Christian view of marriage, February 2016

  • "There seems to be a prejudice against Christians or against the manifestation of the Christian faith which totally puzzles me."

    – Archbishop Peter Smith, September 2011

  • "If you are a badge-wearing Christian, you are more likely to be marginalised more than any other religion."

    – Peter Kerridge, Feb. 2012

  • "Christianity will become a faith that can speak in the public square less and less freely."

    – Archbishop Charles Chaput, August 2010

  • "I can not help wondering about the moral responsibility of certain media who nurture in French society a particularly unhealthy climate of anti-Catholicism."

    – Mgr Marc Aillet, October 2010

  • “Recent attacks on Christian communities have highlighted the necessity to address the problem of intolerance against Christians with a specific focus on hate crimes."

    – OSCE Report, September 2011

Recent cases

REPORT A CASE

General Pharmaceutical Council Launches Consultation on "Religion, Personal Values and Beliefs in Pharmacy Practice"

One of the proposals would remove the current conscience "opt-out" provisions. Currently, a pharmacist who does not wish to issue an abortifacient drug can refer the patient to another colleague. Instead, the pharmacist would have to “take responsibility for ensuring that person-centred care is not compromised because of personal values and belief”. This could require the pharmacist to dispense a drug against his or her conscience. Read more ...

Polish Prosecutors Investigate Play for Offending Religious Sentiments

The Polish prosecutor's office began an investigation of a theater play that contains a scene of an actress simulating oral set on the statue of Pope John Paul II, and other sex scenes involving crosses. Another scene hints at murdering a top PiS (Law and Justice) party leader. Read more ...

National Secular Society Proposes Removal of Bishops' Bench from House of Lords

The group made the recommendation to a parliamentary inquiry to examine how to reduce the size of the Upper House. The House of Lords currently has more than 850 members, and the Bishops' Bench contains two archbishops and 24 bishops who can vote on legislation. Read more ...

Vienna Church Vandalized with Anarchist Graffiti

The outside walls of the church of Maria am Gestade was sprayed with the anarchist A symbol and the word "Antifa." Read more ...

National Theatre's School Performances use Statue of Virgin Mary as Symbol of Extremism

The Slovak National Theatre visited schools with a performance about the dangers of extremism, depicting the true story of a Roma family being attacked by skinheads in 2009. Without any explanation, the stage setting includes a statue of the Virgin Mary in front of a swastika symbol. A complaint has been filed on the grounds that this has insulted and defamed the Catholic Church by implying that the Church was somehow complicit in the crime. Read more ...

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