The European Parliament Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance (Intergroup) has presented its first Annual Report on the ‘State of Freedom of Religion or Belief’. The report was presented at an event hosted by the Intergroup in collaboration with United States Commission on International Religious Freedom. Speakers included the Chairs of both of these groups.
Peter van Dalen MEP, Co-President of the Intergroup and co-author of its report said: “Today is a milestone for the Intergroup since its upgrade by the European Parliament Conference of Presidents. With the presentation of our report, we hope to shed some more light on the violation of this fundamental right and stand up for the many millions of people who are bullied, discriminated, persecuted and even killed because of their religion or belief.”
Dennis de Jong MEP, Co-President and co-author of the report said: “For the report we have made a thorough analysis of all available material. Unfortunately, we can only conclude that violations of freedom of religion or belief have become more frequent and intense. …On the basis of the current report, the Intergroup will closely monitor the developments, especially in the countries of concern, and put pressure on the EEAS and Member States to take more effective action.”
The report comprises data regarding freedom of religion or belief in five regions of the world and documented violations. It also covers violence against places of worship and holy places. The Intergroup wants to raise awareness of the targeting of sites by totalitarian and extremist groups in attempts to eradicate religious or belief communities in certain countries.