Observatory Releases Report on Christian Persecution in Europe by THOMAS D. WILLIAMS, PH.D. for Breitbart
ROME — The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe has published its annual 2019 report, chronicling the rising level of Christian persecution throughout Europe in the previous year.
In its report, the observatory documented “a rise in the number of churches, Christian symbols, and cemeteries across Europe being vandalized, desecrated, and burned, compared to previous years,” and yet these acts of anti-Christian violence constitute just the tip of the iceberg.
“We have seen Christian-run businesses financially ruined, street preachers arrested, Christians forced to choose between their moral values and their professions, Christian student groups and speakers silenced on campuses, asylum claims of Christian refugees arbitrarily denied, and parental rights trampled on by overreaching governmental interference,” said Ellen Fantini, the observatory’s executive director. “Fundamental rights are rendered meaningless if they cannot be freely exercised by all Europeans.”
Moreover, the report states, across Europe, “Christians have been fired, sued, and even arrested for exercising their freedom of expression or conscience.”
Yet these violations of basic human rights have been accompanied by more series acts of aggression as well, acts that seem incongruous with Europe’s self-understanding as a modern, tolerant continent.
“As we have noted in the past, Christians in Europe are not simply experiencing social discrimination, prejudice, or restrictions on freedom. Christians, including clergy, have been attacked or killed for their faith. As in previous years we have continued to see threats and attacks against Christian converts from Islam,” the report notes.
The 64-page report offers summary descriptions of more than 325 cases of intolerance and discrimination against Christians in Europe for the year 2018, in an ongoing attempt to raise awareness among all people of good will that the phenomenon ought to be taken seriously and is in need of a common response.