Religious freedom in Europe?

Manfred Karl Böhm (Editor- Christian Affairs Europe) OCP News Service – 17/7/18

Germany: Discrimination can quickly turn into persecution, uncontrolled persecution into crimes against humanity and genocide, said the well-known British Politician Lord David Alton of Liverpool.

Alton spoke at the 9th Annual Meeting of COPTIC SOLIDARITY on the nature of religious persecution ( He emphasized that Western Governments and international organizations remain blind to the persecution of Christians. In Egypt, for example, the indifference of the world community (in 2013) led to an orgy of violence which reminds Europe’s Kristallnacht. At that time Synagogues, shops and factories of Jews were attacked. Today Churches, institutions and homes of the Copts are demolished. On April 9th (2013) 44 people were killed and more than 100 were injured. The unleashed terror was confessed by Daesh. The virus of terror, according to Alton, respects no boundaries, which was evident in the 2015 incident (20 Christian Copts and one Christian from Ghana were executed by ISIS).

Christian Identity in Western Europe – An Inventory

In fact, Christians are the most persecuted religion in the world. Even in Europe, countries in large are members of the EU, which guarantees human rights in the “Charter of Fundamental Rights.” However, Christians (in two-thirds) often experience distress. Russian-Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk (Patriarchate Moscow) pointed the same in his speech last year: “There are tens and hundreds of instances of the vandalism, desecration, robbery and arson of Christian churches, the destruction of images and crosses, the denigration of and attacks upon priests and clergy in Europe. Many of these crimes are committed by immigrants from the Middle East and Africa, but are a certain part of the acts of vandalism committed by indigenous Europeans.” – the Metropolitan stated. (

Claims by Lord Alton and Metropolitan Hilarion are confirmed by the OBSERVATORY ON INTOLERANCE AND DISCRIMINATION AGAINST CHRISTIANS IN EUROPE. More than 500 cases are described in the recent report for the years 2016 and 2017. The introduction of the report states: “Across Europe, Christians have been fired, sued, and even arrested for exercising their freedom of expression or conscience … Christians, including clergy, have been killed or attacked for their faith. As in 2015, we have continued to face threats and attacks against Christian refugees and asylum seekers in Europe. Vandalized, robbed, and burned; and Christian symbols destroyed. “(Report 2018, p. 5

According to Lord Alton, the ever-growing level of persecution worldwide requires a systematic and structured approach. One must realize that those societies that want to promote religious freedom are proper and stable and good places to live. Religious freedom is not only a matter of declared law, but also of corresponding right action. Alton concluded his presentation with reproaching words:  “… and that those who refuse to take the cause of religious persecution seriously want to decay – and want to deserve to.” This is so true to the contemporary European situation.

OCP News Service