Orthodox Bishop criticizes growing Christianophobia

"Interfax", January 25, 2008. Brussels, Bishop Hilarion of Vienna and Austria, a representative of the Russian Orthodox Church in European international organizations, has drawn the attention of European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to the increase in crime against Christians in Europe. "We often hear about anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, and very little is said about Christianophobia, which is gaining strength in many European countries," Bishop Hilarion said during a meeting between Barosso and representatives of the Orthodox Churches to the European Union. Among the forms of Christianophobia in Europe, Bishop Hilarion mentioned the removal of Christian symbols from the public sphere, the denigration of Christianity and refusal to recognize the Christian heritage of Europe, the persecution of people who openly express Christian convictions and who choose to live according to Christian moral standards." Mentioning the recent discussion of the matter in the British parliament, Bishop Hilarion called for a similar discussion in European international organizations and called on representatives of the European churches to take part in it.