Holy See calls on European security council to safeguard against religious discrimination

Holy See calls on European security council to safeguard against religious discrimination

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Last week Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States, addressed the 15th Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Madrid, Spain.  In his speech he called on the organization to promote human dignity and defend the values of all people. 

“What I would like to stress the most is that, in the opinion of the Holy See, the vocation of the OSCE is to create an area of freedom and the rule of law." “In order to achieve this end,” he continued, “the Organization must ceaselessly promote the dignity of the human person and defend the intrinsic rights and values of all men and women…. I also believe, that it is essential that we continue to oppose human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children," he added.

Religious Intolerance

To support human dignity, the archbishop explained to the foreign ministers, the OSCE “must also effectively combat intolerance and discrimination against Christians, Jews, Muslims and members of other religions.”  He stated that this can only be “effectively be addressed if all religions are equally respected and protected."

Mamberti praised the European Parliament for recently condemning “various episodes which endanger the very existence of Christian and other religious communities.”

“The OSCE,” the archbishop said, “can be rightly proud that it was one of the first organizations to raise the alarm concerning discrimination against Christians, but it must remain alert. Christians continue to suffer from prejudice, stereotypes, discrimination and violence. Disengagement from these problems cannot be an option!”

Consensus Must Equal Action
 
He continued, "[w]e must not hide behind the principle of 'consensus' in order to avoid effective action and neither should we be satisfied with blanket condemnations. Rather this consensus should be a catalyst for action to protect fundamental freedoms, and, above all, the religious freedom of every believer and of each religious community."

The archbishop also noted the importance of protecting resources in "the fight against terrorism.”  “It is imperative to protect critical energy infrastructure from attack. It will also be important, on the issue of environmental protection, for the organization to support the various initiatives concerning water management, thus contributing to cooperation, stability and the equitable and sustainable development of each country."

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