Integrate religious freedom into EU human rights policy priorities
Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich, President of Justice and Peace Europe, pleaded for increased protection of religious minorities worldwide during his meeting with EU Special Representative for Human Rights
On Tuesday, 21 April 2015, Luxembourg´s Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich, the President of Justice and Peace Europe, met in Brussels with EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Stavros Lambrinidis. Archbishop Hollerich was accompanied by the Secretary General of COMECE, Fr. Patrick Daly.
The meeting took place in the context of the review of the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy. Referring to the current situation concerning religious minorities, including Christians, who are facing religious persecution in many countries of the world, Archbishop Hollerich warned against tendencies to neglect the right to religious freedom and to subsume it merely under issues of freedom of expression.
“It is important that the promotion of religious freedom and the protection of religious minorities be given a prominent place on the EU´s human rights agenda in order to guarantee the enjoyment of this fundamental right in all its dimensions, at the individual as well as at the collective level”, the Archbishop stated.
In particular he underlined the necessity of a proper implementation of the recently adopted EU Guidelines on Freedom of Religion or Belief and pleaded for an intensification of the EU´s engagement in regular dialogue with Churches and religious communities on matters related to religious freedom.
During the meeting, the promotion of human rights in the context of EU´s development policy was also discussed. Supporting educational policies was considered an efficient tool to counter religious extremism and violence.
The Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions (Justice and Peace Europe) is a European network of 31 national Justice and Peace Commissions, working for the promotion of justice, peace and respect for human dignity. It contributes to raising awareness of the Catholic social doctrine in the European societies and the European institutions. Its General Secretariat is based in Brussels where it works closely with the Commission of the Bishops´ Conferences of the EU (COMECE).
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