Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion on Hate Crimes against Christians

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.

“Organizations in the OSCE countries responsible for notifying the public about cases of Christianophobia regularly report cases of persecution of Christians who criticize social evils, albeit that they are legally recognized. For example, clergy and lay believers who criticize homosexuality as sinful often face public ostracism or severe discrimination. Statutory guarantees of freedom of speech laid down in international law are always ignored in such cases... Christians in the OSCE region are consistently attacked because of their position on abortion and euthanasia. Opponents not only fail to see that behind their false justifications lie the deprivation of human life, but they also question Christians’ right to present their views and their democratic efforts to have them reflected in European legislation. It has been an encouragement and inspiration to see the recent recommendation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe upholding the right to conscientious objection for medical workers who refuse to take part in such operations... We are also concerned about the acts of vandalism aimed against Christian shrines that have become a sad social reality in contemporary OSCE region." Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department of External Church Relations at the OSCE high- level meeting ‘Preventing and Responding to Hate Incidents and Crimes against Christians’, Rome, Italy, 12 September 2011, (Summary, p.31)