Stepping out from anonymity
OIDCE Report 2011
More and more cases of intolerance and discrimination against Christians in Europe are being recorded. At the same time, increasing media interest has given voice to the anonymous suffering of people’s cases which more and more acquire international significance. This emerges from the 2011 report on cases of intolerance and discrimination against Christians in Europe published today on the website of the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe (OIDCE).
The 2011 report is available on the OIDCE website (www.intoleranceagainstchristians.eu) from 1200 and is the only existing comprehensive report about the situation of Christians in Europe.
“The bishops in Europe are particularly conscious of these manifestations of religious discrimination and intolerance which actually confirm how some values and fundamental rights proper to Europe, such as freedom of religion and the legal recognition of our Churches, are far from being an established reality in some nations of the continent”, stated Mgr András Veres, Bishop of Szombathely (Hungary) and mandated by CCEE to follow the activities of the OIDCE. “At the same time, the cases reported bear testimony to how much religion is an evermore present element in people’s lives. The manifestations of intolerance constitute an alarming reality because they highlight a hitherto little-known and increasing reality when many other factors remind us of the fundamental role of religion as an advocate of social cohesion. Therefore the report also wishes to be an invitation for all Christians who have experienced a form of discrimination and / or intolerance because of their religious adherence to step out from anonymity and be courageous: believing in God must not be perceived as a fault or sign of weakness. Living and witnessing to one’s own religious creed in respect for the freedom and sensitivity of others can only be beneficial for everyone, believers or non-believers, Christians or non-Christians. The bishops of Europe are behind those who do not see their rights respected and recall that freedom of religion is a valuable good which must be protected so as to continue to be a pillar of peace in our continent”.
An explanatory note about the report in Italian, French, German and English is attached.
The English version of the report is attached embargoed until 1200.
Members of the Observatory will be available for interview: Monday 19 March 2012, from 0930 until 1400 – Martin Kugler (English, German and Spanish), on 0043 699 10102208; and Tuesday 20 March 2012 from 0930 until 1400 – Martin Kugler (English, German and Spanish) and Gudrun Kugler (English, German) on 0043 650 2526933.
The Observatory is a member of the Fundamental Rights Platform of the EU – Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and works in close collaboration with OSCE.
The Observatory is independent of CCEE. Mgr András Veres, Bishop of Szombathely (Hungary), is the bishop appointed by the CCEE Presidency to follow its work.
The Council of the Episcopal Conferences of Europe (CCEE) includes the current 33 European Episcopal Conferences, represented by their Presidents, and the Archbishops of Luxembourg, of the Principality of Monaco, the Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus and the Bishop of Chişinău (Moldova Rep.) and the Eparchial Bishop of Mukachevo. The President is Cardinal Péter Erdő, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Primate of Hungary; the Vice-Presidents are Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, Archbishop of Genoa, and Mgr Józef Michalik, Archbishop of Przemyśl, Poland. The General Secretary is Mgr Duarte da Cunha. The Secretariat is based at St Gallen (Switzerland)