Vienna, 14.07.2016 (FOREF) – The Forum for Religious Freedom Europe presents three recently published annual reports by the European Intergroup on FoRB & RT, Human Rights Without Frontiers Int’l and the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe. In addition, FOREF recommends an article published by UN Special Rapporteur on FoRB, Heiner Bielefeldt, titled “Misperceptions of Freedom of Religion or Belief”.
(1) Annual Report 2015-16 by the European Parliament Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance (FoRB&RT)
The Intergroup on FoRB&RT was first introduced in January 2015 in order to ensure that the EU promotes and protects the right to freedom of thought, conscience and belief in non-EU countries. As a secular body the Intergroup on FoRB&RT is not associated with any particular religious society and operates impartially.
(2) The HRWF Int’l Freedom of Religion or Belief World Report 2015 – Religious Minorities under Oppression
Human Rights Without Frontiers International (HRWF Int’l) is a Brussel-based non-profit association that aims to inform European and international policies in order to uphold democracy, the rule of law and human rights globally. Among the range of activites of the HRWF Int’l are field missions, research, analyiss and monitoring of various human rights concerns in many countries around the world. A wide global network of correspondents and associated member organizations provides the NGO with reliable first-hand information.
(3) Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe – 2015 Report
The Austria-based “Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe” investigates, documents and reports cases of intolerance and discrimination against Christians in Europe. The NGO informs international government institutions and reports to politicians, NGOs and the media. The Observatory is a member of the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) of the EU.
(4) Misperceptions of Freedom of Religion or Belief
This older, but nonetheless relevant article by Heiner Bielefeldt, UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, illuminates typical concepts and political ideas that blur the status of freedom of religion as fundamental human right. Those concepts include blasphemy and apostasy legislation, state imposed interreligious harmony, or ideological versions of state secularism. Bielefeldt also discusses the relation between the freedom of religion and other human rights.