The OSCE Office for democratic institutions and human rights, ODIHR, based in Warsaw invited about 50 experts as well as representative of participating states to a Round Table in Vienna on March 4th in order to deal with the phenomenon of Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians. Mario Mauro, vice president of the European parliament participated in the round table as personal representative of the OSCE chair-in-office on combatting intolerance against Christians.
There is a strong conviction amongst the Christian community that an obvious bias exists against Christians and Christianity in UK public life. In a 2008 survey conducted by Premier, almost three quarters (73%) of respondents believed Christians were being unfairly marginalised in British Society. The same poll also revealed, more specifically, that 77% of Christians surveyed thought the Government rarely took into account Christian views when making policy or legislating.
"In 2007 one out of every three Anglican churches suffered a vandal attack at some point during the year. Theft, arson and malicious damage is a problem for churches. Claims cost £1.8 million in total, a significant amount for petty crime. The average cost of these claims was around £900. These statistics don’t even take into account the smaller attacks which churches don’t report to their insurer because the damage is minor. It is therefore likely that many more thousands of churches suffer malicious damage every year."
‘National Churchwatch’, an group consulting the Anglican Church on safety, says vicars are attacked more often than professions such as GPs and probation officers. The group also produces security advice for all UK churches and church workers. In the ten years prior to 2007, five vicars were murdered. A 2001 academic study also found that twelve per cent of clergy had suffered some form of violence. In a survey of 90 London clergy carried out in 2006, nearly half said they had been attacked in the previous twelve months. One vicar, from Willesden, North West London, said his vicarage had been machine-gunned.
The Ministerial Council of OSCE, (...) “Calls for continued efforts by political representatives, including parliamentarians, strongly to reject and condemn manifestations of racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, discrimination and intolerance, including against Christians, Jews, Muslims and members of other religions, as well as violent manifestations of extremism associated with aggressive nationalism and neo-Nazism, while continuing to respect freedom of expression. (...)”
The European Commission blames Turkey for failing to protect fundamental human rights and stressed the lack of rights for non-Muslim religious communities.
What critics have already known for a long time became unambiguous at the “impartiality” summit, called by its chairman, Michael Grade. BBC executives admitted at an “impartiality” summit in October 2006 that the corporation is institutionally biased on religion.
48% of all clergy had suffered from some form of violence in the last 12 months. The most common form of violence was swearing, shouting and name calling. 15% of all clergy had suffered from violence which resulted in injury.
OSCE's ministerial council reinterates its aim "to prevent intolerance and discrimination, including against Christians, Jews, Muslims and members of other religions. (...)”
OSCE's ministerial council pledges to fight “prejudice, intolerance and discrimination against Christians, Muslims and members of other religions.”
"Based on consultations I conclude that OSCE participating States (...) condemn without reserve racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, and other forms of intolerance and discrimination, including against Muslims and Christians, as well as harassment and incitement to hate crimes motivated, inter alia, by race, colour, sex, language, religion or belief, political or other opinion, national or social origin, birth or other status; and reaffirm their existing OSCE commitments in this field;..."
In 2001 an Independent Study of Crime against Places of Worship in Somerset found: of the 77 clergy surveyed, 16 had been assaulted a total of 26 times in the last 2 years. 20 of the assaults occurred during robberies. In July 2001, the charity Nacro produced a Community Safety practice briefing on Faith Communities for the Home Office, it states; "In one of the local government areas where Nacro is conducting an audit of crime and disorder, 31 of the 37 people in public ministry roles (ie clergy or full time lay workers) had been threatened with assault or assaulted. Of the 19 who had actually been assaulted 12 of them now have some persistent medical or psychological health burden as a result of their victimisation."
In 2001 an Independent Academic Research study of more than 1,000 Anglican Clergy showed that in the last two years 7 out of 10 clergy surveyed had experienced some kind of violence; 7 out of 10 clergy had been verbally abused; 1 in 5 were threatened with harm; 12% were physically assaulted; 4 in 10 were afraid of becoming a victim while at work.