EU to defend Christian minorities

New working group designed to combat persecution


Franco Frattini

The European Union has announced the creation of a working group to assist Christian minorities in countries where they are persecuted.

The initiative launched by Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini is to help EU member countries' embassy staffs know how to intervene on behalf of persecuted Christian minorities.

Frattini says the first step is writing a manual that will be given to every embassy staff of all EU member nations.

It is the first European government organization devoted to addressing the persecution of Christians, he said in an interview in the Italian newspaper Avvenir.

"You see, Christians have never had a political group offering them strong support through their governments," Frattini said.

However, the EU governmental group does more than just create a manual. International Christian Concern's EU analyst Jonathan Racho says the group is designed to take action.

"They're forming a group that will define what they can do about Christian persecution in many of the world's countries outside of Europe," Racho said.

The group is different than most other religious freedom advocacy groups, he noted.

"This is the first group designed to officially defend the rights of Christians. The Muslims have the Organization of the Islamic Conference that is only slightly smaller than the U.N.," Racho said.

"This panel will be an official EU governmental agency designed to intervene on behalf of a nation's Christian minority," Racho said. "They will advocate on behalf of persecuted Christians even though the report we have from our sources doesn't go into a lot of detail."

Racho said Frattini's reference to the worst violators of Christian religious freedom was based on a report by the Christian organization Open Doors.

The Open Doors "Watch List" named North Korea the biggest violator.

Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and the Maldives round out the top five, with Afghanistan, Yemen, Mauritania, Laos and Uzbekistan completing Open Doors' top 10 list of Christian persecutors.

Racho said there is a common factor in eight of the world's top 10.

"When we look at the list Mr. Frattini was using, there are a couple of communist countries. But most of the countries are Muslim countries, except India which is mostly a Hindu country," Racho said.

2014 united copts .org
Copyright © 2023 United Copts. All Rights Reserved.
Website Maintenance by: