Presecuted christians – MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen held a conference and exhibition at the European Parliament on September 18th, to raise awareness about the persecution of Christians worldwide. He emphasized the need for the EU to take stronger action against violations of freedom of religion, particularly in Africa, where thousands of lives are lost due to this silence. The exhibition displayed harrowing photos of Christian persecution, and van Ruissen stressed that the EU must uphold its moral duty to protect freedom of religion effectively. Other speakers highlighted the importance of international engagement in addressing this issue and promoting fundamental freedoms for all.
Article published by Willy Fautre and the Newsdesk.
A conference and an exhibition held by MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen in the European Parliament denounces the silence and the impunity surrounding the suffering of Christians around the world
The EU must take stronger action against the blatant violations of freedom of religion, which mostly affect Christians worldwide. This silence costs thousands of lives every year, especially in Africa. This deadly silence must be broken, MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen advocated on Monday 18 September at a conference and opening of an exhibition in the European Parliament.
The event attended by over a hundred people was followed by the visit of an exhibition in the heart of the European Parliament, organized together with Open Doors and SDOK (Foundation of the Underground Church). It showed shocking photos of victims of Christian persecution: among others, a photo of a Chinese believer who was hung by the police with his legs from a horizontal pole, now adorns the heart of the European Parliament.
Ruissen pointed out that 10 years ago now, the EU adopted directives to protect freedom of religion.
Anastasia Hartman, advocacy officer at Open Doors in Brussels:
Bonus for killing a pastor
Nigerian student Ishaku Dawa recounted the horrors of the Islamist terrorist organisation Boko Haram: “In my region, 30 pastors have already been killed. Pastors are outlaws: the death of a pastor brings a bounty of the equivalent of 2,500 euros. One victim I knew personally “, the VU Amsterdam student said. “Think of the kidnapped schoolgirls in 2014: they were targeted because they came from a Christian school.”
Also speaking at the conference was Illia Djadi, Open Doors’ Senior Analyst on freedom of faith in Sub-Saharan Africa. He called for more international engagement.
Jelle Creemers, director of the Institute for the Study of Freedom of Religion or Belief at the Evangelical Theological Faculty (ETF) Leuven, said,