In 2010 and 2011 693 charges aggravated by religious prejudice were reported in Scottland. This is a nearly 10 per cent increase in one year and the highest level in four years. 95% of this violence was directed against Christians.
In 2008, 88% of Christians surveyed thought that certain parts of the media had a secular agenda that ignores Christian concerns. This view has not changed 3 years on.
Following a number of warnings given to people working in the medical profession after they'd offered prayer to their patients, the Medical Defence Union, backed by the General Medical Council, issued a guidance earlier this year saying that GPs can pray with patients, as long as it's 'tactful'.
The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians was granted leave to intervene as a third party in the European Court of Human Rights' pending freedom of religion cases Chaplin and Eweida.
The one-day OSCE high level meeting took place in Rome on September 12th, 2011. OSCE’s reason: „Recent attacks on Christian communities have highlighted the necessity to address the problem of intolerance against Christians with a specific focus on hate crimes.“
In 2011, Christians have felt an increasing bias against them in relation to ‘Gay’ lobby groups. In August 2011 the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) publicly stated that Christians were experiencing more discrimination than other religious groups in the work place and that, where possible, the concept of reasonable accommodation should be considered. However the EHRC retracted this statement as a result of Angela Mason’s (formerly of Stonewall) intervention.
One-third of the world's population experiences an increase The Pew Research Center (Washington DC) released an report on „Rising Restrictions on Religion“ in August 2011. It states: „Europe had the largest proportion of countries in which social hostilities related to religion were on the rise from mid-2006 to mid-2009. Indeed, five of the 10 countries in the world that had a substantial increase in social hostilities were in Europe: Bulgaria, Denmark, Russia, Sweden and the United Kingdom. The study also finds that social hostilities involving religion have been rising in Asia, particularly in China, Thailand and Vietnam.“ Link: http://pewforum.org/Government/Rising-Restrictions-on-Religion(2).aspx
The survey, conducted by the Corporation itself in July 2011 was based on a poll of 4,500 people includind BBC staff. Results show that the broadcaster is regarded as anti-Christian and misrepresenting Christianity.
The parliamentary assembly of the OSCE recommends that a "public debate on intolerance and discrimination against Christians be initiated and that the right of Christians to participate fully in public life be ensured" (12); that, "in view of discrimination and intolerance against Christians, that legislation in the participating States, including labour law, equality law, laws on freedom of expression and assembly, and laws related to religious communities and right of conscientious objection be assessed" (13); and "encourages the media not to spread prejudices against Christians and to combat negative stereotyping" (15); and "encourages Christian churches to continue their participation in public life contributing to the defence of the dignity of all human beings and to freedom and social cohesion" (16).
The Observatory contributes a written submission to "Religare", a three-year European research project funded by the European Commission. This submission maps out the way to a Europe that is conscious of its heritage and has respect for fundamental rights, without disregarding today’s plurality of religion and belief.
A recent document from the Russian Orthodox patriarchate, reported by L'Osservatore Romano, notes the "profound concern" of its synod at the increase of Christianophobia in the world.
In a significant legal development, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has requested that the British Government state whether they believe that the rights of Christians have been infringed in recent cases where individuals have been penalised for expressing their faith in the workplace.
The media plays an important role in shaping public attitudes towards Christianity. ComRes research reveals the majority of Christians believe current representations of Christians and Christianity in the media is often negative or misleading. According to a BBC survey conducted in 2011, respondents of its own survey said representations of Christians were often ‘derogatory and in some instances, anti-Christian.’
There is cross-party support in the UK for a change in the law that would remove a single word from the Public Order Act 1986 that has allowed Christians to be arrested when they offend the sensibilities of homosexual activists. The amendment proposes to remove the word "insulting".
The European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, has closed a case after the European Commission apologised for omitting Christian holidays in a school diary it had published for 2010/2011. This follows a complaint from an Irish priest who submitted that the diary did not mention Easter and Christmas, although it contained certain non-Christian holidays, such as the Jewish and Islamic New Years.
Read here a report of the Observatory's director about the striking discussion at the presentation of the Five-Year-Report on Intolerance against Christians in Europe at Fundamental Rights Platform of Fundamental Rights Agency.
The Christian Institute (CI) has published quotations of journalists and media professionals regarding the BBC anti-Christian policy in the UK.
European Parliament seminar held on March 16th in Brussels concludes: Intolerance and discrimination against Christians exists also in the EU.
Russian Orthodox Archbishop Metropolit Hilarion met with Roman Catholic Cardinal Kurt Koch to discuss cooperation between the two Churches. They mentioned the combat against "Christianophobia" in Europe and other regions of the world as a common key issue.
The Council of the European Union condemned religious intolerance on Feb 21st by saying: „ The Council expresses its profound concern about the increasing number of acts of religious intolerance and discrimination, as epitomised by recent violence and acts of terrorism, in various countries, against Christians and their places of worship, Muslim pilgrims and other religious communities, which it firmly condemns. Regrettably, no part of the world is exempt from the scourge of religious intolerance.“