Anti-Christian Discrimination in Europe

Over at First Things:

A recently released report by the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians (a nonprofit group based in Austria) supplements and confirms Paul Coleman’s article in our June/July issue about discrimination against Christians in Europe.

The report documents numerous restrictions on religious freedom—related to conscientious objection, hate speech and anti-discrimination laws, education, and more—and incidents of anti-Christian vandalism and discrimination in more than thirty European countries last year.

Collectively these demonstrate (to quote Mark Movsesian’s post from this morning) how “governments [in the West] seem willing to require traditional Christians to give up their religious convictions as the price for entering the marketplace, or even doing charitable work.”

The organization’s director Dr. Gudrun Kugler answered a common objection to that claim in an address she delivered to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe:

Sometimes I get asked, how can a majority be discriminated against? Well, it is not the nominal Christian who is fully aligned to society’s mainstream, who suffers discrimination. It is those who strive to live according to the high ethical demands of Christianity, who experience a clash. Those are not the majority.

In other words, one can certainly call oneself a Christian without facing any kind of difficulty. It is not Christian identity but the freedom to preach and live out traditional Christian beliefs that is imperiled in Europe.

The full report is available here as a PDF.


2 thoughts on “Anti-Christian Discrimination in Europe

  1. Surely the biblical, confessional and Gospel oriented truth, will always be considered harsh! I quoted this on another blog, it is by the almost prophetic like P.T. Forsyth: ‘The non-theological Christ is popular; he wins votes; but he is not mighty; he does not win souls; he does not break men into small pieces and create them anew.” (The Taste of Death and the Life of Grace)

  2. One wonders if (a) Christians in Europe don’t “deserve” some discrimination and persecution for having failed at maintaining and spreading the Gospel, and (b) if discrimination and persecution is exactly what the European churches need to remind themselves of their place in the world and their earthly mission?

    After the horrors of fascism, communism, right-wing dictatorships (Spain & Portugal), military juntas (Greece), and the other secular, materialistic “isms” of the 20th century, how did European Christians fail so miserably at teaching, preaching, and living the Gospel? As if they just gave up? Sold their souls for a social democratic welfare state? I suspect the old pagan Roman emperors wish they had thought that had back in their day?

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