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?"
The right of denominational schools to have a clear identity and ethos was strongly defended at a conference on denominational education organised by The Iona Institute.
"In the most subtle way, we in Britain are again seeing religious freedom - a liberty that underpins all the others - under threat. And again it is Christians who are being unjustly targeted, not members of other religions."
“If you are a badge-wearing Christian, you are more likely to be marginalised more than any other religion.” Peter Kerridge, Chief Executive of Christian Media Premier
“Christians are often portrayed negatively by some parts of the mainstream media compared to other groups... The media needs to be more responsible and fair in its representation of Christianity. Christian characters are often ridiculed in fictional TV programming, whereas other religious groups, such as Muslims, are treated sensitively and homosexuals portrayed positively.”
“Sadly the media is prone to promoting a particular secular agenda and then sensationalising certain aspects of Christian beliefs and values without placing them within the right context of the debate.”
Prime Minister Cameron: "...those who advocate secular neutrality in order to avoid passing judgement on the behaviour of others fail to grasp the consequences of that neutrality or the role that faith can play in helping people to have a moral code."
“As we look at the state of our Nation, we see very fundamental signs of warning, we have measured our words when we say we believe there is a struggle taking place with the soul of our Nation... The Judeo-Christian foundations of our country need to be strengthened. (They) are fundamental to our way of life, to our freedom... It isn’t just the Christians suffering... It’s the quality of our life, its the ability to speak freely, it’s the ability to express one’s convictions.”
“The right of freedom of expression for Christians is being limited because other groups, rights are deemed to be encroached upon when Christians express their rights.” Peter Kerridge of Media Premium Group
“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
The UK Government has written to all local councils in England, telling them that new laws restore their power to hold prayers at official meetings after the High Court had ruled that local councils have no lawful power to hold prayers during official business. The court case was initiated by the National Secular Society and a local atheist ex-councillor who sued Bideford Town Council in Devon for conducted prayers. Read here statements of public officials in favor of the religious practice dating back to the 17th century.
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.