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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Quotations

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

    – Peter Kerridge, Feb. 2012

  • “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

  • "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

  • "[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

  • “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

  • "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

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

    – Russian-Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion, September 2011

  • “Protection is one of the key elements surrounding any debate on religious freedom as a fundamental human right because it is intrinsic to the human person.” Archbishop Jurkovi?, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the UN

    – , March 2017

  • 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

  • "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

  • "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

  • “To say to someone that Jesus is the only God is not a matter of truth. To the extent that they are saying that the only way to God is through Jesus, that cannot be a truth.” UK Prosecutor Ian Jackson at trial against street preachers.

    – , February 2017

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

    – Dennis Prager, July 2007

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

    – Independent Academic Research study, September 2001

  • “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

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

    – Hilary Clinton, Nov. 2010

  • "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

  • “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

  • “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

  • “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

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

    – Archbishop Charles Chaput, August 2010

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

    – Roger Trigg, February 2012

  • “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

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

    – Lamberto Zannier, September 2011

  • “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

  • "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

  • 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

  • "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

  • "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

  • “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

  • "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

  • "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

  • “…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

  • “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

  • “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

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

    – Chris Patten, April 2011

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

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

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

    – Jeremy Vine, 2009

  • "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

  • "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

  • “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

  • "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

  • 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

  • "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

Recent cases

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Lipton Removes Crosses from Product Packaging

After controversy over the Lidl supermarket group removing crosses from Santorini churches on the packaging of Greek foods, it appears that Lipton, a holding of the Unilever Group, also eliminated crosses from their packaging, including its Russian Earl Grey tea. The illustration is of an Orthodox church, but with the crosses removed from the domes. Read more ...

Man was Attacked for Wearing a Cross in Berlin

The Berlin police reported that a 23-year-old man from Afghanistan was attacked and injured for wearing chain with a cross on it. He was approached by two men on evening of September 11, 2017 in Neukölln. According to the police report, he stated that the attackers had asked him why he had become a Christian. One of the two perpetrators tore the chain from the man's neck and beat him while the other held him down. The police called the incident "dangerous bodily harm" with a "religious background." Read more ...

Arson in the Church of Saint Denis d'Hellemmes-Lille

A fire was discovered in the late afternoon of September 10, 2017 and appeared to have been intentionally set in three separate places, including the the altar of the church of Saint Denis d'Hellemmes-Lille. The fire brigade came quickly and were able to extinguish the fire. The organ suffered the most damage and is no longer useable. The police opened an investigation. Read more ...

Desecration in Madrid Church

Unknown perpetrators broke into the parish of the Virgin of Bethlehem in Alcalá de Henares during the night of 5th and 6th of September 2017. They looted the altarpiece of the high altar, including the tabernacle containing consecrated Hosts, the ciborium of a chapel and a small monstrance containing a consecrated Host. The attackers threw the consecrated Hosts on the floor. Police were called and a Mass of Reparation was scheduled. Read more ...

Christian Celebration in Turkish-Cyprus Temporarily Prohibited

The Cypriot orthodox metropolitan of Morphou, Neophitos Massuras, has been banned from holding its annual patron saint feast service. The ban is based on the Islamization policy pursued by the Erdogan satellite regime in North Cyprus. The ban was passed at the last minute and the official justification was that it was not possible to guarantee the safety of the Christian celebration because of the simultaneous Muslim sacrifice of Kurban Bairam. Read more ...

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