Report on Violations of the Rights of Orthodox Christians in Europe in 2014 published
March 10, 2015. The Centre for Monitoring the Rights and Freedom of Orthodox Christians in Europe publishes its first annual report for the year 2014.
The Centre for Monitoring the Rights and Freedom of Orthodox Christians in Europe was established to monitor the rights and freedoms of Orthodox Christians in Europe within 47 countries of the Council of Europe.
In the present time, Orthodox Christians as well as other religious groups feel particularly vulnerable to intolerance, discrimination, and even violence on the part of materialistic supporters of the “new morality” and from those who, in arguing for the secular character of the state, demand exclusion of religion from public life – media, education, culture, and health. New legislation too often becomes an instrument to violate the rights of believers and their freedom of religion, thus provoking tensions and conflicts within society.
This project is initiated by active Orthodox Christians in Europe and supported by the Representation of the Russian Orthodox Church to the Council of Europe. While emphasizing the violations of Orthodox Christians’ rights in Europe, the centre underlines that this is not a call for special treatment for Orthodox Christians, but an attempt to encourage the Council of Europe member states to respect freedom of religion in general and to avoid discrimination against any religious community and its members, regardless of the size of the community to which a person belongs.
This first report is far from being complete, as it does not include all the cases of violations of the rights of Orthodox Christians that occurred in the Council of Europe member states during the past year. The compliers of the report hope that this first experience permits to start a detailed monitoring for 2015. Therefore any interested person is invited to send us information about the violations of the rights of Orthodox Christians in 2015 in Europe. After the verification of the submitted facts, the centre will publish them on the website and include in its annual report. The centre monitors only the violations directly or indirectly related to Orthodox faith or morality and does not deal with the human rights violations in general, even if those violations concern Orthodox Christians.