×
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

Daniel Dalton

22 hours ago

#Terreg 1st reading in parliament passed. A very tough file, but we have a good compromise in the EP which balance… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

ECR Group

yesterday

🗣 Our 🇱🇻 MEP @robertszile's key message in today's #FutureOfEurope debate with Latvian PM @krisjaniskarins : "We ne… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

ECR Group

yesterday

We also need to focus on equal distribution of investment in research & development across all Member States. 🗣 “Sm… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

ECR Group

yesterday

Our MEP @robertszile applauds Latvian PM @krisjaniskarins's “analytical” approach to the #FutureOfEurope debate but… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

ECR Group

yesterday

🔛 NOW ➡️ our MEP @robertszile addresses #EPlenary at the final #FutureOfEurope debate before the… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

ECR Group

yesterday

🚨 👍 Thrilled to announce @EGardini has joined our growing #ECR family. 77 MEPs from 19 Member States. / Siamo lieti… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

ECR Group

2 days ago

Calls for pragmatism to end the #Brexit deadlock from our co-chair @SyedKamall today as he addressed the chamber at… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

ECR Group

2 days ago

On the agenda in this final week of the @Europarl_EN mandate before our MEPs head off to campaign ahead the… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

ECR Group

2 days ago

Our hearts are breaking as we watch #NotreDame burn. We stand by the French people in this time of tragedy & give a… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…

ECR Group

2 days ago

🗣 “The flames engulfing #NotreDame are a knife to the heart. It is one of Christianity’s most important & sacred si… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…





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