OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Urges States to Combat Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in the West

(11. July 2011) The parliamentary assembly of the OSCE recommends that a "public debate on intolerance and discrimination against Christians be initiated and that the right of Christians to participate fully in public life be ensured" (12); that, "in view of discrimination and intolerance against Christians, that legislation in the participating States, including labour law, equality law, laws on freedom of expression and assembly, and laws related to religious communities and right of conscientious objection be assessed" (13); and "encourages the media not to spread prejudices against Christians and to combat negative stereotyping" (15); and "encourages Christian churches to continue their participation in public life contributing to the defence of the dignity of all human beings and to freedom and social cohesion" (16).

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Full Text of Resolution:

 

RESOLUTION ON COMBATING INTOLERANCE AND DISCRIMINATION AGAINST CHRISTIANS IN THE OSCE AREA

1.            Recognizing that respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law is at the core of the OSCE comprehensive concept of security,

2.            Reaffirming that acts of intolerance and discrimination pose a threat to democracy and, therefore, to overall security in the OSCE region and beyond,

3.            Recalling that participating States have committed themselves to ensuring human rights and fundamental freedoms to everyone within their territory and subject to their jurisdiction and will therefore provide to all persons equal and effective protection of law,

4.            Reaffirming the inviolable right of the individual to profess his or her faith alone or in community, in private and in public life and to live freely according to the dictate of his or her conscience,

5.            Acknowledging the positive contribution of Christians to social cohesion, cultural enrichment and value-orientated debate in our societies,

6.            Welcoming the work done in this field by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights,

7.            Welcoming the efforts of the Personal Representative of the Chairman-in-Office on Combating Racism, Xenophobia and Discrimination, also focusing on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians and Members of other Religions, in raising awareness of this urgent challenge,

8.            Condemning the problem in its different forms, both in the eastern and western countries of the OSCE,

The Parliamentary Assembly of OSCE:

9.            Decides to follow up the work started in 2009 at the Expert Roundtable on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians held in Vienna on 4 March 2009;

10.            Decides to intensify efforts to monitor, research and publicize the need to fight against intolerance and discrimination throughout the OSCE area, which includes efforts in the fields of, inter alia, education, media, legislation, law enforcement, and hate crime; and to work closely with representatives of Christian churches;

11.            Decides to intensify consultation and co-operation with the Personal Representative of the Chairman-in-Office on a national and international level;

12.            Recommends that a public debate on intolerance and discrimination against Christians be initiated and that the right of Christians to participate fully in public life be ensured;

13.            Recommends, in view of discrimination and intolerance against Christians, that legislation in the participating States, including labour law, equality law, laws on freedom of expression and assembly, and laws related to religious communities and right of conscientious objection be assessed;

14.            Urges the Government of Turkey to allow the reopening of the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Theological School of Halki, without condition or further delay, in keeping with the commitment from the 1989 Vienna Concluding Document affirming the right of religious communities to provide ―training of religious personnel in appropriate institution;

15.            Encourages the media not to spread prejudices against Christians and to combat negative stereotyping;

16.            Encourages Christian churches to continue their participation in public life contributing to the defence of the dignity of all human beings and to freedom and social cohesion.

 

 

 

 

 


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