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

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

    – Independent Academic Research study, September 2001

  • "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

  • "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

  • “…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

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

    – Jeremy Vine, 2009

  • “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

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

    – Chris Patten, April 2011

  • "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

  • "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 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

  • 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

  • “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

  • “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

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

    – Peter Kerridge, Feb. 2012

  • “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

  • "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

  • "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

  • "[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

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

    – Lamberto Zannier, September 2011

  • “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

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

    – Roger Trigg, February 2012

  • "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

  • "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

  • "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

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

    – Archbishop Charles Chaput, August 2010

  • “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

  • "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

  • “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

  • “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

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

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

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

    – Hilary Clinton, Nov. 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 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

  • 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

  • “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

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

    – Russian-Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion, September 2011

  • "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

  • “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

  • “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

Recent cases

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Conscientious Objection Denied

(1995/1996) Several instances have been collected in which staff were denied the right to conscientious objection and lost their jobs. Read more ...

Holy Monastery of Prophet Elias in Cyprus Savagely Bombed by Turkish Air Force

The Monastery of the Prophet Elias of Maronite Monks, situated near the village of Ayia Marina Skyllouras, in the Nicosia district in Cyprus, was bombed during the second phase of the Turkish invasion. The Turkish air force savagely attacked the religious building which caught fire and was badly damaged. Read more ...

Church of Ayios Procopios, Cyprus Desecrated after the 1974 Turkish Occupation

Ayios Procopios, a Byzantine church of the 11th or 12th century situated in the village of Synkrasi, in the Famagusta district, in the Republic of Cyprus, was desecrated after the military had occupied the region by force. The iconostasis was destroyed and the portable icons were stolen. The church is today a refuge for birds. Read more ...

Wall-Paintings at Antifonitis Monastery in Cyprus Destroyed

Antifonitis Monastery, a Byzantine monastery, built at the end of the 12th century, was destroyed as a consequence of the Turkish invasion. The heads of the two Archangels in the apse of the church were ruined. Turkish illicit dealers in antiquities cut into pieces and removed from the walls the representations of the Day of Judgment and the Stem of Jesse, vandalising a large part of them. Read more ...

Clergy Advised to Remove Roman Colar for Safety

Members of the clergy were advised to take off their Roman collars when they are on their own, to reduce the risk of being attacked. Even the Archbishop of Canterbury should remove the collar outside church. Read more ...

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