The Bundesplatz in Bern was filled with 500 wooden crosses, 1,000 roses, and a long list of names of victims of religious persecution on the 9. July. This was organized by the Working Group for Religious Freedom of the Swiss Evangelical Alliance SEA. They want to show solidarity with the more than 5,000 Christians worldwide who die because of their faith. And they warn that the number of people persecuted for their faith across different religions is increasing. Still, the organizers want to also communicate hope for the future.
In the light of the current invasion of Ukraine by Russia, experts and human rights activists are concerned for religious freedom. They fear religious minorities will face the same human rights violations as in Russian controlled areas. Religious groups suffer discrimination in Crimea and the pro-Russian controlled areas of Luhansk and Donetsk.
Keep updated about the latest developments and receive helpful information!
Hate Crimes against Christians in Europe increased by 70%
Our Executive Director discusses the Observatory's work with Jonathon Van Maren.
The Holy See has attacked the latest UN report on religious freedom. Decrying particularly the document's many references to gender ideology, the Holy See called the language a sort of "ideological colonization on the part of some States and international institution." The Holy See said the Report is an "attack to religious freedom."
On February 9, 2020, Swiss voters approved the addition of sexual orientation to the existing anti-discrimination legislation to the penal code. Christian groups have called the expansion of the hate crime law to include sexual orientation "superfluous," noting that existing laws offered sufficient protection and that the new law could be used to attack religious freedom, freedom of speech, and freedom of conscience.
Are pharmacists allowed to act in accordance with their conscience? In Berlin, a pharmacist who would not sell the ‘morning-after-pill’ for conscience reasons has recently faced legal proceedings initiated by the Berlin Chamber of Pharmacists. For the first time, a German court ruled on this matter and upheld his right to act in accordance with his conscience regarding the sale of certain products. The Pharmacists’ Chamber may still appeal against the decision with the appeal period due to expire on 20 January. ADF International supported the pharmacist in this case.
A surge in aggressive nationalism in key parts of the world is to blame for a rise in violence and other intimidation targeting religious minorities—and the West is failing to convert words of concern into action. This is one of the principal findings of a new report on the state of religious freedom around the world produced by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), an international papal charity that serves the persecuted and suffering Church.
After a four-year legal battle, Ashers Baking Company in Belfast has won in the United Kingdom Supreme Court!
We urge all nations to uphold the fundamental right to life, family, and religious freedom, as recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
"The Vienna-based Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe has published a 74-page 2018 Report that’s a real eye-opener. This is not simply a compilation of complaints or over-sensitive reactions to clashes in pluralist societies. It provides a portrait of an extensive problem that everyone who cares about liberty, religious liberty included, should be aware of." - Robert Royal, editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing, and president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C.
Ellen Fantini joined Ján Figel', EU Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the EU, and Tristan Azbej, Hungary's Deputy State Secretary for Persecuted Christians, on a panel in Bratislava.
The cases in Observatory's report for 2016 and 2017 represent the range of hostilities Christians experience in their daily lives: from the ‘squeeze’ of interference with religious liberty, parental rights, freedom of expression and conscience, to the ‘smash’ of physical attacks, and vandalism of churches and cemeteries.
Germany’s federal police recorded almost 100 attacks on Christians or Christian institutions in Germany in 2017, with most of the violent incidents occurring among asylum seekers living in refugee centers.
To mark the International Day for Tolerance, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) published hate crime data for 2016 on November 16, 2017.
In a message to the hundreds of participants in the torchlight procession in solidarity with persecuted Christians he said, "The protection of Christians needs to be strengthened in our foreign policy, bilaterally and at the EU level."