“At least 75% of religious persecution is directed at people of the Christian faith. Each year 170,000 Christians suffer because of their beliefs.” These are some of the real facts that have led the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) to organize a conference on the persecution of Christians, to be held in Brussels on 5 October.
The initiative has been supported by various groups within the European Parliament, in collaboration with Aid to the Church in Need and the NGO Open Doors International.
The Bishops said: “The total number of faithful who are discriminated amounts to already 100 million. This makes Christians the most persecuted religious group. Persecution may also include obstacles to the proclamation of faith, confiscation and destruction of places of worship or prohibition of religious training and education.” Therefore, the COMECE and its fellow sponsors launch this appeal: “Europe cannot remain passive. The European Union must take the co-responsibility for the protection of religious freedom in the world.”
During the conference, COMECE will present its report on religious freedom, which includes a series of recommendations to the EU institutions. Among the speakers are Bishop Eduard Hiiboro Kussala, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Tombura -Yambio in South Sudan and Archbishop Louis Sako, Chaldean Archbishop of Kirkuk, Iraq.