The Catholic Church has called for a public acknowledgement of the extent of anti-Catholicism in Scotland as new Crown Office statistics show an increase in Religiously Aggravated hate crimes directed at Catholics.
Cardinal Peter Erdö speaks of wrong presentations of and a "a spreading of ignorance about the Christian faith", being "accompanied by repeated juridical, as well as physical, attacks against the visible presence of the manifestations of faith". This is also due to the fact that human rights "no longer have a clear connection with the human and Christian view".
How can Christians oppose such tendencies? What does the power of Christianity lie in? It is determined by the faith of Christians, their ability to live up the Gospel’s law, to bring the light of Divine Truth to people. Having lost the ability to be the salt of the earth, Christians become unable to oppose various ideologies asserting their own rules of common human life.”
The “Human Rights agenda” is in danger of becoming a new form of totalitarianism, according to a bishop in comments ahead of four religious liberty court cases.
In a submission to the European Court of Human Rights, hearing four freedom of religion cases in the fall of 2012, Lord Carey said: "The secular human rights agenda has gone too far and the Convention is losing legitimacy in many Contracting states. Many noble words such as ‘human rights’ are seen as little more than a political agenda."
The Daily Telegraph reported, that „in a powerful submission to the judges, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the former Bishop of Rochester, warns of a distorted ‚human rights agenda’ which he likens to the atheist communist regimes in Eastern Europe which also suppressed Christianity by preventing public manifestations of faith.“
The well-known US intellectual Robert George raised concerns about the verdict handed down in Germany on June 26, identifying circumcision as punishable offense: "it is also about laws that undermine the ability of Jews, Muslims, and persons of any other faith to fulfill their religious duties; and it is about the rights of people of every religion to manifest their faith in public life as well as in their temples, churches, mosques or homes."
During the 40th Meeting of the General Secretaries of the Bishop Conferences in Europe, that took place in Edinburgh, Scotland, between 29 June and 2 July 2012, it was concluded that in many European countries, God is seen as a private matter both in the field of politics, as well as in culture, law and the public sphere. Oftentimes, the religious freedom of churches is restricted in deceitful ways or directly through an intervention of governmental authority. In these times of economic crisis and deep longing after God, this repression of God in daily life seems to have a negative impact on all societies.
In an interview with the Online News Service Kath.net Bernd Posselt, EU Parliamentarian and Member of the executive board of the German Christian-Democratic party CSU said: “Europe must be a continent in which the Christian faith is being cultivated - not persecuted!”
In a speech entitled "Religious Liberty: God's Gift to all Nations is our Responsibility to Defend," US Archbishop Lori spoke about the importance of ensuring that religious freedom is rightly understood and protected. Individuals and groups, the archbishop maintains, have the right "not only to worship freely, but indeed to put their faith into practice, both publicly and privately," he said at the opening of an Italian Observatory on Religious Liberty on June 28th, in Rome.
The former Archbishop of Canterbury warns that people who support traditional marriage are being hit with intolerance by those calling for more tolerance. His comment follows the statement of Nick Herbert, the Policing Minister, who accused Christian leaders of sounding “highly judgmental or intolerant”.
Dennis Sewell, who worked for more than 20 years at BBC News, produced a report which accuses the BBC of being over-considerate towards Islam — in marked contrast to its treatment of Christianity. Writing for The Telegraph, he says there are “certain people and things that the BBC institutionally doesn’t much care for”, including “evangelical Christians”. However, Sewell says the Corporation views “religious faith” as “a hangover from a bygone age”.
The UK’s most senior Roman Catholic said in May 2012 that “tolerance is being abolished” as secularists seek to wipe out the Christian faith in Britain. Addressing Leicester's Anglican Cathedral, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor warned of a rising and “dangerous” intolerance from atheists, telling the congregation that: "In the name of tolerance it seems to me tolerance is being abolished."
Brendan O’Neill, writing in the Telegraph, said: “The attempt to drain religious schools of religion is a highly illiberal, intolerant exercise. Catholic schools have a certain amount of leeway to teach the Catholic view on life, sex and relationships. If they didn't, then they wouldn't be "Catholic schools" – they'd just be "schools".
In a strong statement submitted to the European Court of Human Rights, former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord George Carey has said that Christians in Britain are being “vilified” by the courts and “driven underground” with the same kind of persecution once directed at homosexuals. In particular Carey pointed the finger at the British judiciary’s use of equality law to marginalize Christianity.
“So often the teachings of Jesus Christ are divided and ignored; so often those who try to live a Christian life are made fun of and ridiculed and marginalized...”
In a speech given at the European Commission on March 30th, 2012, Professor Giorgio Feliciani, Director of the Center of Studies on Ecclesiastical Bodies (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano) brings to light the importance of reasserting religious liberty in Europe.
"Whatever the strict legal situation, we believe that individuals should have the right to make statements of faith, and this extends to the wearing of appropriate jewellery."
Vladimir Legoïda, president of the Department of Relation with Civil Society, said: "Why is the public demonstration of one’s belonging to the gay community considered as normal when the wearing of a small cross isn’t?... Just try to fire someone who openly claims his sexual orientation; he will cry to scandal and will probably obtain to be resettled. How are the Christians symbols dangerous? Who do they offend?"