Religious freedom is one generation away from being lost in Europe, Barnabas Fund warned EU Parliament members at a historic meeting on 5 June 2018.
Discrimination and intolerance of Christianity in Europe was the subject of debate for the first time in the European Parliament, in a meeting hosted by Nathan Gill, MEP.
Barnabas Chief Executive, Hendrik Storm, stated, “It’s easy to sit back and ignore the damage because like erosion, it’s not always immediately visible on the surface. But look a little closer and you can begin to see the cracks. You can’t pick and choose which types of freedom you want to defend. Freedom of speech, freedom of the press, academic freedom or freedom of religion. You must defend all of them. Those freedoms are only one generation away from being lost.”
He, and other speakers, highlighted recent instances of violence, marginalisation, and discrimination against Christians across Europe. These included the attacks on Nissar Hussain, a UK convert from Islam to Christianity, which eventually forced him and his family to flee their home, the banning of crosses in workplaces and the effective banning of socially conservative believers from public roles.
The call for action was also supported by Nathan Gill, MEP: “It’s the first time that Christianophobia within Europe has been discussed in the EU Parliament. There has often been a focus on Christian persecution around the world, but seldom do we look at what is happening on our doorstep. It’s important to raise awareness that our rights as Christians are being eroded. We need to stand together as practising Christians to oppose religious intolerance.”
In February 2018, Barnabas Fund launched a campaign and petition to call for a new law in the UK to protect religious freedom. It was Barnabas Fund's campaign for "Our Religious Freedom" that prompted Nathan Gill to set up today's meeting at the European Parliament.
Sign the Our Religious Freedom petition here .