Europe’s Growing Intolerance of Christianity
Jerry A. Kane
A recent report issued by an Austrian think tank confirms that a war is being waged against European Christians. Even in countries where religious tolerance is advocated, Christians are being discriminated against and marginalized.
“[A] January 2009 poll showed that more than four out of five churchgoers (84 per cent) think that religious freedom of speech and action are at risk in the UK. [And] (82 percent) feel it is becoming more difficult to live as a Christian in an increasingly secular country.”—Gudrun Kugler, director of the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians
The report, “Shadow Report on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe 2005-2010,” finds that European Christians are being deprived of their rights to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. European countries are denying Christians parental rights, targeting them for hate crimes, negatively stereotyping them in media, and destroying their symbols and icons.
“[T]there are more attacks on [Christian churches] in Germany [that] are not recognized as ‘anti-religious acts’. But if synagogues or mosques are vandalised, … the media warns us of growing intolerance against Jews and Muslims.”—Gudrun Kugler
How ironic is it that the birthplace of Christendom now promotes and practices intolerance and discrimination against Christians? European governments have adopted laws to remove Christian symbols from public life; European journalists and politicians publicly ridicule the Christian world view; Europeans reject Christian candidates for office; and European employers fire workers for wearing Christian symbols.
“Everywhere you look today churches are being closed, Christians are often being marginalised and faith is something few people like to discuss openly.”—Cherie Blair, wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
According to the report, Europe’s anti-discrimination laws have criminalized core elements of Christian teaching:
a judge was suspended for objecting to homosexual adoption;
a registrar was ordered to perform a homosexual wedding in spite of religious objections;
a Christian television network was fined for airing ads opposing the homosexual lifestyle;
a street preacher was arrested for telling a pedestrian that homosexuality is a sin;
an Employment Appeal Tribunal ruled that Christians cannot follow their conscience if their beliefs conflict with the promotion of homosexuality;
a foster parent was suspended for allowing a Muslim child in her care to convert to Christianity; and
an anti-abortion activist was jailed for sending abortion photos to a hospital.
A revived anti-Christian spirit has swept the European landscape. European governments are now openly hostile toward all Christians they’ve branded as homophobic, sexist, intolerant, and unworldly.
“Christians are … the last obstacle to a new vision of secularity which is so politically correct that it verges on totalitarianism.”—Gudrun Kugler