Report documents discrimination against Christians

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 are gaining international significance. This emerges from the 2011 report on cases of intolerance and discrimination against Christians in Europe released today on the website of the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe (OIDCE).Listen:

Martin Kugler is a member of the Observatory, and described their work: “Our NGO… started to cover these issues because there is a growing awareness in some international organisations like the United Nations or the OSCE who are concerned about human rights, and especially religious freedom. And the new and growing phenomenon in the western world in some countries in Europe is a kind of marginalisation of Christians.”

He described some of the instances of discrimination and intolerance documented in the report: “In the last year there was a growing phenomenon of vandalism and hate crimes in some European countries… Then we have the other part which we call discrimination because it is about legal limitations. And here we see the big problem of the so-called right to object, the right to object for reasons of conscience.”

He spoke about what can be done to address the problems of intolerance and discrimination: “The first step is raising awareness, and this is the reason we do all of our work.”

Mr. Kugler recognised “the form of intolerance or even discrimination in Europe is a more subtle one. It is a growing phenomenon, but it’s, in many places, still very smooth in the sense that its not a dramatic situation. But we see that it is much easier to face such a problem at the beginning than later on when its developed and nobody cares about the Christian attitudes.”

Listen to the full interview of Martin Kugler with Christopher Wells.