All reports

Observatory Reported Six Human Rights Violations in Germany to the U.N.

October 10, 2012

This October, the Observatory submitted a complaint against Germany to the Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations. Below you find the list of infringements on human rights with regards to Christianity which we monitor in Germany.

European Parliament Seminar Concludes: Significant Effort Required to Eliminate Discrimination against Christians in Europe

October 2, 2012

The Oct 2nd seminar, which was organised by different politicial groups together with the COMECE, concluded that Christians in Europe are being more and more sidelined and marginalised, partly by social hostility and partly by government restrictions. Significant efforts are required to eliminate discriminatory actions against Christians. Freedom of religion has to be ensured not only for minorities, but for Christians as well. Public attention must be raised to issues which are not covered by the media and a permanent dialogue should be established on major issues. Likewise, cross-party initiatives must also play a stronger role in this process.

Pew Forum Finds: Government Restrictions and Social Hostility on the Rise, also in Europe

September 27, 2012

The Pew Research Center finds that United Kingdom, France, Germany, Greece and Romania are among the countries of high and growing social hostility against religion.

Statement of Observatory at OSCE on Freedom of Assembly

September 26, 2012

Find here the intervention of the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe at the Human Dimension Implementation Meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe on September 26th, 2012, in Warsaw. Topic: Freedom of Assembly of Christians violated West of Vienna.

Religious Hostility Report Published in the US

September 7, 2012

The US-based Family Research Council and the Liberty Institute published in 2012 a report on "Religious Hostility in America". Read here the executive summary.

Four Freedom of Religion Cases at the European Court of Human Rights in the Fall of 2012

September 4, 2012

The ECtHR hears four cases of religious discrimination of Christians at work against the UK. Read here the press release of the European Center for Law and Justice, including a summary of the four cases.

Government Report Combatting Racism Recognises Christian Sites as the Most Targeted

July 13, 2012

Since the creation of the under-directory for general information (SDIG - Sous-direction de l’information générale) on 1st July 2008, a periodical state of affairs of attacks on places of worship and tombs in France has been conducted by introducing a constant inventory method. Profanations of places of cult are a classic form of racist and anti-Semitic violence, but the Christian symbols are from far the most targeted, from 82% to 90% of the cases depending of the year.

Italy Opens Religious Liberty Observatory Focusing also on the West

June 28, 2012

On June 28, 2012 Italy’s foreign affairs office officially opened an Observatory on Religious Liberty focussing on all countries of the world but Italy. The observatory aims to support Italian international diplomacy with regards to violations against religious liberty.

OSCE Holds Seminar on Hate Crimes Against Christians

June 28, 2012

On 26 - 27 June 2012 the OSCE/ODIHR held a meeting entitled "The Role of Civil Society in Combating Hate Crimes against Christians", hosted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome. The seminar gathered more than 40 civil society organizations dealing with intolerance against Christians in the OSCE area. The aim of the meeting was to raise awareness on the concept of hate crimes and different forms of intolerance, and to train the participants in how to document such crimes. The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians participated.

European Court of Human Rights: Victory for the Religious Freedom

May 15, 2012

The European Court of Human Rights published a judgment in the important case of Fernandez-Martínez c. Espagne (application no 56030/07) in which it concluded by six votes to one that “the choice of the bishop not to renew the contract of a teacher who is a married priest and activist of the Pro-Optional Celibacy Movement comes under the principle of religious freedom, as protected by the Convention”.

Vatican at UN: Parents have the Right to Homeschool

May 1, 2012

Parents “have the right and duty to choose schools inclusive of homeschooling, and they must possess the freedom to do so, which in turn, must be respected and facilitated by the State.”

Turkey Named as One of World’s Worst Religious Freedom Violators

March 26, 2012

Turkey has been named as one of the world’s worst violators of religious freedom, along with countries such as Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Sudan.

Politicians Release Report on the Freedom of Christians in the UK

February 28, 2012

In the report "Clearing the Ground", UK parliamentarians say after a six month investigation that Christians are facing genuine legal difficulties in Britain. They suggest to promote a concept of “reasonable accommodation” for religious belief in the public sphere. The report criticises the Equality Act for failing to deal with the tensions between different strands of equality. It also says that the Equality Commission should be reviewed and restructured so that it better includes and represents religious beliefs. It also says some court rulings have relegated religious belief, effectively creating a hierarchy of rights.

How Freedom of Religion is Handled is a Pressing Challenge

February 27, 2012

“Christians in the UK face problems in living out their faith and these problems have been mostly caused and exacerbated by social, cultural and legal changes over the past decade... Christians in the UK are not persecuted. To suggest that they are is to minimize the suffering of Christians in many parts of the world... But the experiences of Christians in the UK seeking to live out their beliefs and speak freely illustrate a very real problem in the way religious belief, and in particular Christianity is understood and handled. The problem is a pressing challenge to our idea of a plural society."

New Publication on "Equality, Freedom, and Religion"

February 14, 2012

Roger Trigg, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, University of Warwick, and Academic Director of the Centre for the Study of Religion in Public Life, Kellogg College, Oxford, shows in his book "Equality, Freedom, and Religion" how freedom of religion is often trumped by other rights and therefore subject to erosion.

To Recall ECHR (1993): Freedom of Religion Is A Foundation of Democratic Society

January 28, 2012

‘Freedom of thought, conscience and religion is one of the foundations of a ‘democratic society’ within the meaning of the Convention", pronounced the judges of the European Court of Human Rights.

Report France 2010: Vandalism Up 34%, 84% Directed Against Christian Sites

January 25, 2012

French Governmental Services of Classified Information (les Renseignements Généraux) released a report saying that 522 sites have been the target of desecrating acts in 2010. This represents a 34% increase compared to 2009 (389 acts) which had already known a 46% increase compared to 2008 (266 acts). This thus represents a 96% increase in two years. Figures of the year 2010 identify 214 acts of vandalism towards cemeteries, 272 towards chapels, 26 towards war memorials and 10 towards crosses or calvaries.

British Media Company Releases Marginalisation of Christians Report 2007-2011

January 24, 2012

Premier Christian Media, a Christian media company, committed to monitoring the increasing marginalisation of Christianity in British public life, gather evidence through consultations, public polling and content from our multi-media platforms. Read the key findings of the report here.

UN Report Deplores Rise in Intolerance against Religions

December 19, 2011

United Nations High Commissionar on Human Rights presents a report of the Secretary General - "Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping, stigmatization, discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons, based on religion or belief"

Study Reveals Growing Trend of Marginalisation of Christians in the UK

November 29, 2011

Christians in the UK feel more side-lined than ever. 74% of respondents of a ComRes study say: „There is more negative discrimination against Christians than people of other faiths.“ In November 2009, „only“ 66% said so. More than 60% feel that the marginalisation of Christians is increasing in the government (66%, which compares to 59% in November 2010), in the workplace (61%), and in the public (68%). 71% of the responsdents perceive an increase in the marginalisation of Christians in the media.