European MPs: Support Christian Rights!

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European MPs: Support Christian Rights!

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European MPs: Support Christian Rights!

The Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly has overwhelmingly supported the right of Christians to observe their faith at the workplace and in the education of their children. The resolution called, "Tackling intolerance and discrimination in Europe with a special focus on Christians" (Doc. 13660), authored by Moldovan, Valeriu Ghiletchi, was passed by a vote of 67-2, with 15 absentions.

With this petition, let's thank the author of this resolution for his good work, and encourage him to continue in his efforts. At the same time, let's ask those 2 MPs who voted against the resolution (as well as 2 British MPs who abstained) to reconsider their positions when such anti-discrimination resolutions come before the Assembly in the future.

This resolution is a milestone for the Council of Europe because it draws attention to the fact that, "expression of faith is sometimes unduly limited by national legislation and policies which do not allow the accommodation of religious beliefs and practices [of Christians]."

The Assembly's resolution boldly calls for the "reasonable accommodation of religious beliefs and practices..." in its member States. Specifically, Section 6.2.1 calls for member States to promote reasonable accommodation, "so as to ensure that the right of all individuals under their jurisdiction to freedom of religion and belief is respected...". And then, most significantly, Section 6.2.2 calls for member States to "uphold freedom of conscience in the workplace...".

Where education is concerned, Section 6.2.3 says that member States should promote reasonable accommodation so as to, "respect the right of parents to provide their children with an education in conformity with their religious or philosophical convictions..."

The significance of this Council of Europe resolution cannot be overstated, especially because of the particular reference to reasonable accommodation of religious observance in "the workplace" and in the education of children. And, the report which accompanies the resolution makes clear that the resolution, itself, is intended to redress some of the affronts to religious freedom which have recently taken place in the many jurisdictions across Europe.

In fact, the resolution's report provides ample background information about the current state of European citizens' rights to freedom of religion, freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and freedom of choice of education. The picture that the report paints highlights the challenges faced by European Christians in the daily observance of their faith.

Cases from the UK, the Netherlands, Germany and other European countries are elaborated on in the report, and are convincingly used as evidence for the necessity of this resolution. Many cases tell of instances where Christians have been prevented by companies, or by the state, from simple observances of their religion - like wearing a cross, for example. Other cases tell of Christians being prevented from the exercise of conscientious objection in the course of their working day - where, for example, the state requires an employee to make a choice between violating their conscience or losing their job, without providing reasonable accommodation for the observance of their faith.

Because of the unfortunate application (or, interpretation) of national law in such cases, the absolute necessity to take action on behalf of the rights of Christians is now glaringly obvious.

Please thank the author of this important resolution, Valeriu Ghiletchi, and ask him to continue his good work on behalf of all European Christians. And, at the same time, please tell those who voted 'No' to this resolution (or, abstained) to reconsider their stance in the future.

For more information, please see:

Council of Europe, Parliamentary Resolution "Tackling intolerance and discrimination in Europe with a special focus on Christians (Doc. 13660)" - http://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/XRef/Xref-XML2HTML-EN.asp?fileid=21549&la...

The Resolution's Report - http://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/XRef/X2H-Xref-ViewPDF.asp?FileID=21340&la...

The Vote on the Resolution - http://assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/Votes/DB-VotesResults-EN.asp?VoteID=35438...

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Religious Freedom is Essential

Dear Mr Ghiletchi,

I want to thank you for authoring the resolution called, "Tackling intolerance and discrimination in Europe with a special focus on Christians" (Doc. 13660). I believe that this is a very significant resolution from the Parliamentary Assembly, and I wish to congratulate you on its passage. Religious observance for Christians must not be relegated to the private sphere...they must not be pushed out of the public square. I encourage you to continue your work in this regard, because a truly pluralistic and inclusive Europe should include and accept Christians, rather than persecute them.


Messers Borowski and Cruchten,

I am disappointed that you did not vote for the resolution entitled, "Tackling intolerance and discrimination in Europe with a special focus on Christians" (Doc. 13660). Although you were the only two (out of 84) to vote against this measure, one can only wonder what you see wrong with affirming the right of European Christians to the free exercise of their faith. On a variety of issues, whether it has to do with conscientious objection, the observance of one's religion, and, or the choice of education for one's children, one would like to think that European Christians should be able to follow their faith without fear of going to jail because they might have a different, sincerely held, view of the world. As the Council of Europe's resolutions do influence what happens in jurisdictions across Europe, I would respectfully suggest that you reconsider your stance on this most important issue.


Mr Connarty and Lord Tomlinson,

I am disappointed that, as British MPs, you recently abstained from voting 'Yes' to the Parliamentary Assembly's (Council of Europe) resolution called, "Tackling intolerance and discrimination in Europe with a special focus on Christians" (Doc. 13660). You missed an opportunity to show British voters that, whatever your party may say publicly, you, yourself, unequivocally believe in the equal treatment of European Christians as pertains to the observance of their faith in the workplace, at school and university, in politics and business, and, generally, anywhere else in the public arena. I would kindly ask that you reconsider your stance on this most importan issue. 

Sincerely,
[Your Name]

European MPs: Support Christian Rights!

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020,000
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11,315 people have signed. Help us reach 20,000 signatures.