Vienna (Agenzia Fides) - In the year 2013, the Observatory on intolerance and discrimination against Christians in Europe (see Fides 1/10/2010) recorded 241 cases of intolerance against Christians in law and politics, the arts and in the media. In the last years the Observatory has recorded "a tremendous amount of cases of vandalism against Christian sites and places of worship" even though it is impossible to carry out a comparative analysis as European governments generally do not separate the data regarding Christianity.
According to the Report for the year 2013, just published by the Observatory, "the limited data that exists suggest that hate-related incidents against Christians in Europe are on the rise". There are 133 cases of vandalism against Christian sites which occurred in 11 European countries, as documented in the Report. Intolerance against Christians in law and politics - stresses the text - occurs particularly with regard to the limitations of conscientious objection, freedom of speech, equality of discriminatory policies, the limitation of the rights of parents regarding sex education, and freedom of assembly. The Report has conducted a survey regarding 41 laws in 14 European countries which impede the free exercise of faith for Christians. The artistic expressions and broad articulation of the media and social media, are becoming a new ground of intolerance against Christians: the Observatory recorded 15 cases in 6 countries in 2013.
"Respect is a key concept for the understanding of human rights in general and in particular for the freedom of religion or belief", notes the Report, while Dr. Gudrun Kugler, Director of the Observatory, explains: "The increasingly secularized society in Europe has less and less space for Christianity. Some governments and civil society actors seek to exclude instead of welcoming. There are countless cases of intolerance against Christians that are reported to us. Through research, documentation and the publication of these cases, we hope to create awareness, which is a first step towards a solution to the problem". (SL ) (Agenzia Fides 16/05/2014)