“Many are suffering from a kind of what I would call an attitudinal intolerance or discrimination which seems... to be acquiring a cultural dimension in society and it impacts the law as well. Christians are suffering injustices compared to others which seems disproportionately affecting Christians, particularly in the areas of employment, delivery of services, free expression and so on and so forth.” Don Hooricks, head of public affairs of evangelical alliance
“Which specific aspects of law, or its interpretation, do you consider unfair?... Those that prevent Christians acting according to their conscience. Examples include but are not limited to, the accommodation industry, adoption, counselling and caring. In all these cases, the law is clearly biased against Christians..."
“It seems to be accepted that Christians and the Church are legitimate objects of derision and 'mickey taking', whereas to ridicule other faiths is not 'approved' behaviour. Christians of today are held accountable for the faults of their predecessors. Sectarianism is blamed for many wars.” Norma Charlton of C&M ministries
Professor Robert Davis, from Glasgow University, warned that the Scottish curriculum is “under pressure” from new atheist lobbies.
Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Britain's first female Muslim cabinet minister and chairman of the Conservative Party, leader of the ministerial delegation from United Kingdom to the Holy See, said on February 14th: "People need to feel stronger in their religious identities, more confident in their beliefs... Europe needs to become more confident in its Christianity. Let us be honest: Too often there is a suspicion of faith in our continent..."
"Matt", a Daily Telegraph cartoonist, draws two policemen who just found out that a well-known Muslim terrorist had been released, saying: "If he ever says prayers before a council meeting, he'll be right back in jail."
"We in the United States have always been concerned about persecution and intolerance around the world. I don't think we ever expected it to come in the form it is coming in our own country, where the government is impinging on some very good work we are trying to do, to force on us values that are foreign to the Judeo-Christian heritage."
Archbishop Mamberti proposed the institution of an International Day against persecution and discrimination of Christians as "an important sign that governments are willing to deal with this serious issue" at an OSCE meeting in Vilnius.
Observatory's Dr. Martin Kugler participated in the International Conference on the Freedom of Religion and Discrimination against Christians from Nov 30 to December 2 in Moscow. The interreligious forum brought together representatives of Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Islamic communities and internationally renowned experts.
"In Britain, Christians face a double threat. Firstly, radical secularism that has forced the Catholic Church to curtail some of its valuable services to society, and secondly a growing radical Islam that is leading to the creation of parallel Sharia laws. This so-called "Sharia Creep" is out to exploit the weaknesses of our value system, increasing the chances of extremist violence."
"At a time of increasing marginalisation, discrimination and persecution – especially of Christians – I appeal to the international community to respond robustly to attacks on religious freedom wherever they occur."
After citing several attacks against Christians in Arab and African states, in a speech at the National Assembly, Mr. Remiller goes on to say: „Our country isn't spared! A crucifix and three statues of the Virgin Mary profaned in the department of the Landes within ten days. Let alone arts, which, having been "sacred" for several centuries in our country, is henceforth too often disrespectful of Christianity."
Cardinal Raymond Burke, former Archbishop of St. Louis and now the head of the Vatican’s highest court, told Catholic News Agency that he could envision a time when the Catholic Church in the U.S., “even by announcing her own teaching,” is accused of “engaging in illegal activity, for instance, in its teaching on human sexuality.” Asked if the cardinal could even see American Catholics being arrested for their faith he replied, “I can see it happening, yes.”
“No more witchhunts by the Canadian Human Rights Commission, no more persecuting their political enemies, which were just as often their religious enemies,” said Canadian politicians Ezra Levant, upon the good prospects of a bill which is likely to repeal the current hate speech law. Over the past ten years, he noted, the Canadian human rights commissions “effectively declared that Christianity itself was offensive, was hate speech.” “Today is a great day, not just for conservatives or Christians, but for any Canadian who believes in true human rights, the human rights to freedom of speech and freedom of religion,” he said.
In a letter sent to Downing Street, Bishop Joseph Devine urged Mr Cameron to launch an inquiry into “whether the new equality and sexual orientation legislation infringes the rights of others and especially those who attend church”. The Bishop of Motherwell warned that an inquiry was needed because of dozens of cases in which churchgoers “appear to be given less respect for their views than other religions”.
Governement Minister, Baroness Warsi, – a Muslim – said “We need to create a country in which people can be unashamedly proud of their faith – where they don’t feel that they have to leave religion at the door. “That means being proud of Christianity, not downgrading it.” She also said: “For many years, I have been saying that the stronger we are as a Christian nation, the more understanding we will be of other faiths.”
"Modern Art is one of today’s christianophobia’s main manifestation... Of all religions, Christianity is, with no doubt, the most assaulted by art."
Miss Widdecombe, former UK Conservative minister: “David Cameron’s government have threatened to cut the overseas aid budget for countries which persecute homosexuals. Fair enough. But what about Christians? When do we qualify for such protection or don’t we?” Ann Widdecombe also said: “You stand a better chance of earnest representation if you are a hedgehog – and I speak as a patron of the Hedgehog Protection Society. In the last 10 years, how many debates have there been on persecution of Christians, how many Government statements on the subject?”
In a reaction to the event of the Chairmanship of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the relevant Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) to reflect on the phenomenon of hate incidents and crimes against Christians, the COMECE deplores the "decrease in tolerance for the visual presence of Christianity in the public environment" and "those organisations and minority groups that call for tolerance towards themselves, while in turn showing intolerance vis-à-vis religion (and in particular Christianity) by ridiculing or even insulting the Church during public events".
"In Europe... the social environment isn’t without problems. Just browse through the facts mentioned by the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe to be baffled by the number of cases taking place in Europe. People are discriminated against in either a veiled or opened manner, on their workplaces or in different areas of social life, and this only because they are Christian."
At an OSCE round table on hate crimes against Christians, Archbishop Mamberti, Secretary of State for Relations with States said: "Hate crimes almost invariably feed on an environment where religious freedom is not fully respected and religion is discriminated against."
At an OSCE high level meeting, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk expressed his concern about freedom of expression of Christians as well as acts of vandalism against Christians in the OSCE area.
Lamberto Zannier, OSCE Secretary General: “Hate incidents and hate crimes directed against Christians strike at the core values of the OSCE community. They violate fundamental freedoms that have formed an integral part of the OSCE acquis since the Helsinki Final Act of 1975. Just last December in Astana, our heads of state and government agreed that ‘greater efforts must be made to promote freedom of religious or belief.’ That freedom is endangered by hate crimes.”
Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate's department for external Church relations, pointed to a "basic danger" of "attempting to use religious diversity as an excuse to exclude signs of Christian civilization from the public and political realities of the continent, as though this would make our continent friendlier towards non-Christians." In fact, he said, this separation endangers the representatives of any religion.
„Religious freedom cannot be restricted to the simple freedom of worship, although the latter is obviously an important part of it," he explained. "With due respect to the rights of all, religious freedom includes, among others, the right to preach, educate, convert, contribute to the political discourse and participate fully in public activities." Archbishop Mamberti went on to say that if it is true that the risk of hate crimes is related to a denial of religious liberty, "we should not forget that there are serious problems even in areas of the world where fortunately there is no violent persecution of Christians."
One of Ireland's most influential columnists, and a long time critic of the the Catholic Church, has admitted that there is a culture of hostility in the Irish media towards religion.
According to the Catholic Herold, the Archbishop said the British courts are wrongfully penalising Christians through an “incorrect interpretation” of human rights laws, judges were guilty of “woolly thinking” and a bias against Christians who either wore religious jewellery or who had taken a moral stand against acts they held in conscience to be sinful. He also insisted that Christians must be allowed “by any reckoning” to act according to their consciences and “not be obliged to do something they know or believe in their consciences to be wrong”.
Conservative backbencher Lord Waddington tabled a motion to express regret at the unfair impact of equality laws on religious believers, and the bureaucratic burdens heaped on public bodies. Speaking in the Lords debate on September 8th, 2011, Lord Waddington said: “We want to make it plain to people that there is real concern throughout the whole country. We stand for fair, not unfair, behaviour.”
After talking about limitations to freedom of religion elsewhere, Thomas S. Kidd, a senior fellow at Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion, goes on to say in „USA Today“:
The vice-president of the Italian Parliament’s Chamber of Deputies has called on Christian politicians to “make sacrifices” and value their conscience more than their position. In an interview with Catholic News Agency published in August 2011, Professor Rocco Buttiglione, a member of the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences, said that Christian people must enter politics to play an active role forming “the future of the land.”
With regard to the registration of civil Partnerships in religious premises, William Fittall, Secretary General of the Archbishops Council and General Synod, warned that religious groups must continue to enjoy religious liberty.
Christians who wear crosses at work or discuss their beliefs with colleagues must have legal protection from persecution, demanded the Church of England.
Courts should have done more to protect Christians affected by equality laws, stated the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission in July. The Commission announced that it will intervene – for the benefit of religious people and others – in four religious liberty cases pending at the European Court of Human Rights. In August 2011 however, the Equality Commission posted a document on its website which suggested that they were not that sure any more. The Commission announced to launch a public consultation on the arguments it should make and therefore has abandoned for now the plan to call for a new “reasonable accommodation” principle to be introduced, arguing that “this idea needs more careful consideration”. Read the full story on: http://barnabasfund.org/UK/Act/Campaign/Operation-Nehemiah/Campaign-updates/UK-Equalities-watchdog-drops-plan-to-protect-Christians.html Read also: http://www.christian.org.uk/news/equality-commissioner-well-backtrack-on-religious-liberty/?e050811 Related: http://www.epolitix.com/1832-blog/blog-post/newsarticle/lib-dems-back-down-over-christian-rights/ For the initial news in July, please visit: www.christian.org.uk/news/equality-body-courts-have-failed-christians/ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14116964 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2013712/At-equality-police-decide-Christians-DO-right-follow-beliefs.html?printingPage=true
Lord Sacks said he shared with the church leaders a “real concern that the attempt to impose the current prevailing template of equality and anti-discrimination on religious organisations is an erosion of religious liberty”. The Chief Rabbi also raised concerns that the UK was “beginning to move back” to the time of the Mayflower when many left to “find religious liberty elsewhere”.
Jean-Pierre Denis, editor in chief of 'La Vie', says: "Christianity isn’t being violently rejected from the public sphere, but quietly banned from all areas of the collective memory, of all our cultural unconscious references. We are living through a denial process which is lead in a peaceful way, insidiously, and with politically correct manners."
"The quality of social and civil life and the quality of democracy depend in large measure on this 'critical' point - conscience, on the way it is understood and the way it is informed," he said to representatives of key sectors of Croatian society and the Diplomatic Corps during his two-day visit to Croatia.
A sociologist representing a European security organization says that the number of Christians killed each year for their faith is so high that it calculates to one martyr's life being taken every five minutes.
Spain is currently experiencing a "crisis of religious freedom by the development of an aggressive form of secularism which seeks to condemn Christians to a marginalization in public life." Spain is also a place of "a hostile attitude towards Christianity as shown by the desecrations... the contempt attitude displayed by officials... the development of a culture, through some media, through education and through legislations which aims to bring religion in Spain to a marginalized situation."
The Duchess of Cornwall said: “in our right to speak freely, please let us not become too politically correct, because surely political correctness is as severe a form of censorship as any”.
David Cameron believes Britain is a Christian country and says he cannot understand why there is any debate over Christian political involvement. Addressing church leaders at a Downing Street reception, the Prime Minister said that because “so many political questions are moral questions”, Christianity is already involved in politics.
Benedict XVI is calling for fresh insights on the topic of religious freedom, noting how this fundamental human right was enshrined after the downfall of 20th-century totalitarianisms, but now again faces threats. The Pope made his appeal in an April 29 message to Mary Ann Glendon, president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, on the occasion of the academy's 17th plenary session.
Prof. Mary Ann Glendon (Harvard) at the 17th plenary session of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences in Rome:
After a group of Catholics named “fundamentalists” by the media has smashed the controversial image of the Christ in urine called ‘Piss Christ’ shown at the Avignon Modern Art Exhibit, the French journalist Eric Zemmour takes stand to defend the reaction of Catholics on French radio RTL.
The head of the Roman Catholic church in Scotland has criticised what he calls 'aggressive secularism' in Britain. In his Easter sermon, Cardinal Keith O'Brien warned that enemies of Christianity are attempting to remove God from the public sphere.
After accusations of bias against Christianity at the BBC, the BBC Trust Chairman Christopher Patten has underlined atheists' lack of tolerance towards Christians. Lord Patten, chancellor of the University of Oxford, former Governor of Hong Kong and former Cabinet minister said: «It is curious that atheists have proved to be so intolerant of those who have a faith».
There are sectors of society that might consider religion insignificant or even annoying, but that does not justify violating the fundamental right of religious liberty, Benedict XVI is affirming.
In an ironical essay, the French web journal 'Causeur' puts into light how the European Court, under the pretext of defending rights, really legalizes intolerance towards Christians and their religious opinions.
The Vatican representative Archbishop Silvano Tomas told the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday that many who oppose homosexuality are being unjustly attacked for their views.
Joseph Weiler, a Jewish law professor at the New York University School of Law, represented the governments of Armenia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Lithuania, Malta, the Russian Federation and San Marino in the case.