Join the Faith and Freedom Summit campaign
By Jan Zahradil MEP
President of the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe (ACRE)
Taken from the Faith and Freedom Summit magazine published June 28, 2018
Freedom of Religion is one of the most important fundamental rights, considered by the European Court of Human Rights as one of the foundations of a “democratic society”, and amongst the most essential factors that constitute the identity of believers, non-believers and their views on life. There is no doubt that every citizen in the European Union should be able to enjoy freedom of religion or belief, whatever faith he or she chooses, as well as to choose none.
Meanwhile, in the European Union institutions, many become extremely reticent when there is a question relating to concerns about freedom of religion or belief in our member states. Organisation of religion is a matter falling under the competence of national authorities, however we are not talking only about “organisation of religion”, we are talking about a fundamental right which is one of the most essential factors making up the identity of believers and their views on life. Without this right in place, other rights would lose their impetus and force from the perspective of EU believers and non-believers as they would not be able to be manifested through those rights either.
We abide by the European Convention of Human Rights. We abide by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which recognizes, of course, freedom of religion as one of the fundamental rights, but also the non-discrimination principle, including based on religion or belief, which is a basis for all EU legislation.
We have created guidelines for the protection and promotion of freedom of religion or belief. We criticize others, often with good reasons, and we have started to be active in that field in regard to EU diplomacy.
Now we need to ensure freedom of religion or belief in the EU member states, in and emanating from European Union institutions. We need to uphold and defend the freedom of conscience and religion of all individuals by rejecting and speaking out against bigotry, discrimination, harassment and violence. This is the reason for the Faith and Freedom Summit campaign.
Anyone joining the campaign will prove that, the right to freedom of religion or belief, and the right to not being discriminated on the basis of anyone’s religion or belief, will be defended vigorously, as never before. The articles you will find in this magazine have been written by renowned specialists, and will give you so many reasons to support the campaign, that we hope you will join, whoever you are, whatever your political party is.