Under Pressure: Human Rights of Christians in Europe - Top 5 Report 2019-2020

 

Abstract:

While fundamental freedoms are a key element of Western European democratic societies, recent developments have shown that these freedoms are in constant discussion and are sometimes even being limited. There is a rising concern about a decline in religious freedom in Europe, including freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, and parental rights, among other human rights. In this report, OIDAC investigates this issue in five countries in the context of its effect on Christians: France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (UK) between 2019 and 2020. These countries were selected because, according to our observations, Christians face the most difficulties in them. The findings of the report are based on a variety of data we collected. The majority of our data is based on descriptive cases we collected, an extensive questionnaire and in-depth interviews with experts and afflicted Christians. Through our research, we identified an increasing intolerance and discrimination from mainly two sides. First, from the governmental side through legislation, or political discourse that undermines the freedoms of Christians and, secondly, from an individual side, through social exclusion and criminal acts against Christians. It was also uncovered that the main dynamic that causes the erosion and limitation of the freedoms of Christians is what was termed secular intolerance. The report presents an interconnected view of the studied cases, highlights current trends, and formulates recommendations.

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