European bishops warned of growing restrictions on religion

Strasbourg, France, Sep 17, 2013 / 04:56 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- During their first meeting in Strasbourg, France, held Sept. 12-14, the legal advisors to the European Bishops’ Conference warned of an increase in legal restrictions against religious freedom.

More than 30 delegates representing 22 bishops’ conferences in Europe attended the meeting.

Discussions during the gathering focused on conscientious objection, freedom of expression and freedom to receive religions education. The experts noted that religion is taking on “greater public relevance in the lives and consciences of European citizens.”

However, they also pointed to a “considerable increase” in legal restrictions in member countries of the council. These restrictions are registered in the Observatory on Discrimination and Intolerance against Christians in Europe and in lawsuits that are coming before the European Human Rights Court.

The experts encouraged the council to always be “a promoter of the protection of religious freedom.” The Church has always shown herself willing to dialogue and collaborate in the defense of human rights through her specific contribution, they said.

They also reflected on the foundations of human rights, which, they noted, are based on the dignity of the person, and therefore each person has the responsibility to defend them.

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