New Report: Christian converts from Islam are unprotected in Europe

Country: European Institutions (EU, ECHR,

Date of incident: July 28, 2022

A new report by the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) reveals the persecution that European Muslims who convert to Christianity face. It also sheds light on the fact that the rights and freedoms of people who wish to leave the Islam religion are not adequately protected. According to the report "it is difficult and more generally dangerous for a Muslim to leave his religion" in France.

The European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ) is an international, Non-Governmental Organization dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights in Europe and worldwide with special Consultative Status before the United Nations since 2007. It advocates in particular for the protection of religious freedoms. With the new report released called "The persecution of ex-Muslim Christians in France & in Europe" the ECLJ gives an idea of the problems this ignored group faces inside Europe.

An estimated number of between 4,000 and 30,000 persons of Muslim origin convert to Christianity every year only in France, but according to the report "many" Christians of Islamic origin hide themselves, or remain "invisible." They are either absolutely discreet in their public religious practice, or they never become parishioners or members of a church." The ECLJ further emphasizes that today in France, "it is difficult and more generally dangerous for a Muslim to leave his religion."

Converting to Christianity from Islam means an almost sure "social death" for the convert, but not only this, but many cases of persecution are also reported, such as verbal aggression, expulsion from the family or even murder. Many of the witnesses also explain that an important part of converts is subjected to violence by their brothers or cousins.

The report warns that women face an even more difficult situation. Women represent around 70% of the converts in France but due to the misguided tendency to see women as inferior in Islam, they are more likely to be attacked if they leave their religion.

On their Press Release, ECLJ writes: "The major reason we developed this report was to raise the awareness of the UN Special Rapporteur and civil society about this growing issue. Europe cannot turn a blind eye to these breaches of religious freedom, a principle that it claims to defend so vigorously. It is of the utmost urgency that States take these persecutions into account, that they adapt their criminal responses to it, and that church leaders pay more attention to the special needs of these converts who join them."

Source: CNE NewsEuropean Centre for Law and Justice

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