×
ECR

Defending freedoms of religion or belief for minorities in Asia

21 October 2015

Defending freedoms of religion or belief for minorities in Asia

Today, Peter van Dalen MEP hosted a conference in the European Parliament with Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) on Defending Freedoms of Religion and Belief for Minorities in Asia.

The conference audience heard detailed reports from civil society organisations regarding the state of religious pluralism in China, Vietnam, Sri Lanka and India. These described how minorities in China and Vietnam are suffering restrictions through excessive government intervention aiming to control societal forces; while in India and Sri Lanka, we are witnessing a rise in religious extremism which is inspiring societal hostility and structural biases.

According to a report by Delhi based non-profit ANHAD, 43 deaths and over 600 cases of violence (194 targeting Christians and the rest Muslims) took place in India between May 26 2014 and May 26 2015. On November 4 2014 for example, Pastor Harikishan Rana and six other Christians were attacked in the town of Bhopal by a mob of 250 people, led by local Hindutva fundamentalists who demanded he close his Church. He refused, and their homes were broken into; they were stripped naked and their belongings were stolen.

A 2015 Pew Research Centre report found that India scores “Very high” in the social hostilities category facing religious minorities, and in the “High” category on government restrictions.

Five Indian states have already adopted Anti-Conversion laws which restrict the freedoms of religious minorities to share their faith. UN special rapporteur Heiner Bielefeldt critically described the “high penalty of three years imprisonment based on loosely defined terms” in the state law of Gujarat. In September an Anti-Conversion laws were also tabled in the state of Maharashtra, and at India’s National Parliament by way of a Private Members Bill.

Peter van Dalen MEP made clear his determination to ensure the EU responds to these injustices: “I will work hard to ensure that the EU pushes for these freedoms in all its external relations, including in trade negotiations. Because India is the world’s largest democracy and wields such significant influence in the region, I believe India deserves special attention at this time. As a Member of the Delegation for relations with India, I have formally requested that the European Parliament examine the state of pluralism in India. It is time that the rights of India’s religious minorities are defended.”

To follow Mr. van Dalen’s work on this issue, see the European Parliament Intergroup website www.religiousfreedom.eu.

SHARE

ECR

OUR TWEETS

ECR Group

2 days ago

ECR MEP Derk Jan Eppink: “In 1995, #Srebrenica showed us our inability to fight against #genocide. This event made… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

ECR Group

3 days ago

MEP Elżbieta Rafalska: “We need to respect Roma’s culture & identity by listening to their voice. It is the only wa… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

ECR Group

3 days ago

The EU #MobilityPackage rules are harmful & represent double-dealing. It generates an enormous ecological burden. T… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

ECR Group

3 days ago

MEP Emmanouil Fragkos: “#Turkey is a threat to security in the Eastern Mediterranean & threatens the borders of 🇬🇷… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

ECR Group

3 days ago

ECR MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen: “Protecting religious freedom is extremely important & should be defended worldwide. The… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

ECR Group

3 days ago

The ECR endorses the statement of @EP_President to #China to abolish the new security law, defending #RuleOfLaw,… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

ECR Group

4 days ago

"Today we have only one certainty: there is no more time, it is time to act." Watch the full speech of ECR Co-chair… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

ECR Group

4 days ago

MEP Margarita de la Pisa on the EU's public health strategy: "We need technical protocols to protect us from potent… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

ECR Group

4 days ago

The ECR is delighted that the @EU_Commission has agreed to the Group's call to reappoint a Special Envoy to promote… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

ECR Group

4 days ago

ECR MEP Johan Van Overtveldt: “Our economies are in crisis. It is up to national governments & the European Union t… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…





© 2018. All rights reserved. European Conservatives and Reformists Group