Francois Fillon Presents Steps to Help Middle East Religious Minorities



Sputniknews – 16/4/17

French presidential hopeful Francois Fillon has come up with a plan to help religious minorities in the Middle East to fight discrimination.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — French presidential candidate Francois Fillon suggested 12 measures to help religious minorities in the Middle East, stressing the necessity to exclude mentions of religious affiliation from IDs, among other proposals.

“Apply pressure so that civic rights may be fully realized in the Middle East around two tangible measures: putting an end to mentioning of religion in ID papers, the establishment of effective measures to fight the discrimination against Christians and members of minorities within civil service,” the statement, posted on Fillon’s website on Saturday, said

Fillon also suggested decriminalizing conversion of Muslims to any other religion and promoting the freedom to choose religion for children of mixed couples. The center-right candidate advocated support of francophone educational institutions in the region, many of which are run by religious communities.
Fillon said on his Twitter that he visited a Coptic Orthodox Church in Chatenay-Malabry, a suburb of Paris, on the eve of Easter, stressing that the adherents of this confession suffered from the “barbarism of Islamic State [Daesh, banned in Russia].”

On April 9, powerful explosions hit Coptic churches in Egyptian cities of Tanta and Alexandria, with Daesh claiming responsibility. The blast in Alexandria claimed at least 18 lives, the one in Tanta left at least 30 dead.