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Freedom of Religion and Belief & Religious Freedom in Europe ELC London 21st Nov 2013

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Freedom of Religion and Belief & Religious Freedom in Europe ELC London 21st Nov 2013

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Freedom of Religion and Belief and Religious Freedom in Europe, was given by Mr Peter Zoehrer, Chief Editor and Secretary General of FOREF-Europe (Forum for Religious Freedom- Europe) and Advisor to Universal Peace Federation (UPF) - Europe on Human Rights

Freedom of Religion and Belief and Religious Freedom in Europe, was given by Mr Peter Zoehrer, Chief Editor and Secretary General of FOREF-Europe (Forum for Religious Freedom- Europe) and Advisor to Universal Peace Federation (UPF) - Europe on Human Rights

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Freedom of Religion and Belief & Religious Freedom in Europe ELC London 21st Nov 2013

  1. 1. UPF Peter Zoehrer
  2. 2. Universal Declaration of Human Rights Resolution 217 A (III) - 10.12.1948
  3. 3. Universal Declaration of Human Rights ResolutionARTICLE 1 10.12.1948 217 A (III) of All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
  4. 4. UDHR
  5. 5. Definition of Religious Freedom Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance; the concept is generally recognized also to include the freedom to change religion or not to follow any religion.
  6. 6. Definition of Religious Freedom The freedom to leave or discontinue membership in a religion or religious group —in religious terms called "apostasy" —is also a fundamental part of religious freedom, covered by Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  7. 7. Definition of Religious Freedom Freedom of religion is considered by many people and nations to be a fundamental human right. In a country with a state religion, freedom of religion is generally considered to mean that the government permits religious practices of other sects besides the state religion, and does not persecute believers in other faiths.
  8. 8. FoRB Freedom of Religion or Belief Peter Zoehrer
  9. 9. I. Introduction A. Reason for Action B. Purpose and scope C. Definitions II. Operational Guidelines A. Basic Principles of Action B. Priority Areas of Action C. Tools
  10. 10. III. Implementation and Evaluation  The EU will further strengthen its cooperation with the Office of the United-Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief.  The EU will engage with international organisations on freedom of religion or belief.
  11. 11.  EU Member States will draw attention, as appropriate, to freedom of religion or belief in the Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council.  The EU will also engage in the fight against all forms of intolerance and discrimination on grounds of religion or belief, and the implementation of the relevant UN ... in the framework of UNESCO, the UN Alliance of Civilisations, the Anna Lindh Foundation, and the Istanbul process.
  12. 12.  The EU will promote initiatives at the level of OSCE and the Council of Europe and contribute to better implementation of commitments in the area of freedom of religion or belief. ... Particular attention shall be paid to engagement with OSCE and Council of Europe countries that are not EU Member States.
  13. 13. The EU will strengthen its exchanges with regional expert bodies on freedom of religion or belief, such as the Council of Europe (including the Venice Commission), the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)  COHOM will evaluate the implementation of these guidelines after a period of three years, inter alia on the basis of the reports submitted by Heads of Mission and after consultation with civil society and relevant academic experts. 
  14. 14. The Human Rights Working Group (COHOM) was created under the Council of the European Union in 1987 (with the extension of its mandate in 2003) and it is responsible for human rights issues in the EU's external relations. It is composed of human rights experts from Member States and the European Commission.
  15. 15. Consultation of civil society should involve human rights defenders, NGOs including domestic and international human rights and women’s organisations.  This consultation will involve churches and religious associations, philosophical and non- confessional organisations in the context of the open, transparent and regular dialogue held under article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. 
  16. 16. 6. With these Guidelines, the EU reaffirms its determination to promote, in its external human rights policy, freedom of religion or belief as a right to be exercised by everyone everywhere, based on the principles of equality, nondiscrimination and universality.  Through its external policy instruments, the EU intends to help prevent and address violations of this right in a timely, consistent and coherent manner. 
  17. 17. 7. In doing so, the EU focuses on the right of individuals, to believe or not to believe, and, alone or in community with others, to freely manifest their beliefs.  The EU does not consider the merits of the different religions or beliefs, or the lack thereof, but ensures that the right to believe or not to believe is upheld.  The EU is impartial and is not aligned with any specific religion or belief. 
  18. 18. 8. The Guidelines explain what the international human rights standards on freedom of religion or belief are, and give clear political lines to officials of EU institutions and EU Member States, to be used in contacts with third countries and with international and civil society organisations.
  19. 19. They also provide officials with practical guidance on how to seek to prevent violations of freedom of religion or belief, to analyse cases, and to react effectively to violations wherever they occur, in order to promote and protect freedom of religion or belief in the EU's external action.
  20. 20. Religious Persecution Contemporary global overview Light yellow: low restriction; red: very high restriction on freedom of religion. SOURCE: Pew Research Center study, 2009
  21. 21. COUNTRY PROFILES: The worst 50 countries for the persecution of Christians
  22. 22. Source:
  23. 23. 5. In line with universal and European human rights standards, the EU and its member States are committed to respecting, protecting and promoting freedom of religion or belief within their borders.
  24. 24. The European Union is demanding Human Rights standards which it fails to implement within it’s own borders. Drinking wine and preaching water... or “Do as I say! Don’t do as I do!”
  25. 25. Each civilization should be judged by the way it treats her minorities. Mahatma Gandhi 26
  26. 26. Western Politicians repeatedly sacrifice human rights for Chinas market
  27. 27. Islamophobia in Europe
  28. 28. EUROPE: FECRIS Institutionalized Discrimination against Religious Minorities President: Tom Sackville UK Vize – President: Alexander Dvorkin Russia FECRIS (European Federation of Centers for Research and Information on Sectarianism) consultative status (COE) in 2005 & UN (ECOSOC) in 2010  The named organization - under the banner of human rights – promotes discriminatory, anti-cult legislation throughout Europe.  FECRIS receives substantial funding (over 90 percent of its annual budget- as quoted by the former SG of the organization) from the French government.
  29. 29. Jean Henri Dunant 8. 5. 1828, Geneva (Switzerland) † 30. 10. 1910, Heiden (Switzerland) Founder of the Red Cross „We are all brothers!“ 1. Peace-Nobel prize 1901
  30. 30. We have to live together as brothers & sisters or perish together as fools. Martin Luther King Jnr. 41
  31. 31. Religious Freedom Advocacy Please visit the FOREF Blog in English language www.foref-europe.org

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