Discrimination Against Christian Academics in State-Led Educational Agency

Country: Spain

Date of incident: September 7, 2020

Category: Social Hostility / Intolerance

Attack against: Faith

Area of case: Education / Governmental



The Observatory of Freedom of Religion (OFRC) in Spain, presented a research project in October 2019, to the National Agency for Evaluation and Prospective Studies (ANEP) under the Ministry of Science and Innovation on a Climate Change topic. The actors involved were the University of Alcalá, the University of Catalonia and researchers of three different universities, from which two have a Christian background. In June 2020 they received a statement that the experience of the members of the research, related to climate change, is doubted and they are afraid of a biased study, given the religious weight of the institutions involved. The OLRC took the case to the Ministry, but it was rejected.

Evaluation by the ANEP: "However, this aspect clashes with the lack of experience of all members of the research team in aspects related to climate science and climate change. There is a risk that such material may be biased, especially considering the mainly religious weight of some institutions involved in the proposal".

"We understand that the evaluator is making a value judgment about the professional competence of some researchers for working in institutions with a certain religious ideology. After consulting several specialists in religious freedom, we believe that this judgment indicates a clear discrimination on the scientific soundness of some researchers due to the fact that they belong to institutions that, otherwise, meet the requirements for their members to attend public calls." - wrote Emilio Chuvieco of the OLRC.

Source: Observatorio para la Libertad Religiosa y de Conciencia

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