Promote Freedom of Religion Outside the EU
When the European Parliament recognized the genocide of Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities at the hands of ISIS in February 2016, it also called for the creation of a permanent Special Representative for freedom of religion and belief (FoRB) to prevent similar violations.
Sadly, this call was only half heard. A Special Adviser to the Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development was appointed, but his mandate is only temporary; deprived of financial and human resources; and is not fully integrated into the wider EU foreign strategy and policy.
Today, almost three years later, the persecution of religious minorities has worsened. The situation of faith minorities has deteriorated and grave violations are reported in the 2018 Religious Freedom in the World Report by Aid to the Church in Need. They point out that 200 million Christians suffered brutal forms of persecution, while 350 million Christians are subject to various forms of discrimination.
Even in the most high profile cases, such as the case of the Pakistani Christian woman, Asia Bibi, the EU is unwilling and unable to defend the most vulnerable and stand for the protection of human rights. As you may know, CitizenGO has been helping Asia Bibi and her family for the past eight years and, finally, she’s out of jail. So long as she remains in Pakistan however, her life is in peril and we are continuing to do everything we can to help.
Therefore, we’re urging you to ask the European Commission and the Council of the European Union, through a more active and more responsible foreign policy, not to ignore the plight of persecuted Christians and other religious (and non-religious) minorities.
In particular, we request that the report on the EU Guidelines and the mandate of the EU Special Envoy on the promotion of FoRB outside the EU 2018/2155 (INI), calls for the creation of an EU Special Representative for the promotion of FoRB throughout the world. The vote should take place on 15th January. It is essential that this multi-year mandate be fully integrated into the EU foreign policy, and includes adequate financial and human resources to enable the effective promotion and protection of FoRB worldwide.
European elections are getting closer and it’s time for MEPs and political parties which claim to care about persecuted Christians to act accordingly.
It is time for the EU institutions to step up their commitment to the promotion and protection of this fundamental human right worldwide.