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.
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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.