Religious Violence: Socialists and Liberals turn a blind eye

11.02.2014 12:54

Religious Violence: Socialists and Liberals turn a blind eye

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MEPs from the Socialist and Liberal Groups of the European Parliament today voted down an EPP Group-led Report in the Foreign Affairs Committee condemning acts of violence against religious communities, including Christians.

"The voting behaviour of the Socialists and the Liberals is a slap in the face for the thousands of men, women and children facing persecution in their home countries simply because of their religious beliefs, be they Christian or any other faith. This is a shameful position for two political groups that publicly fly the flags of solidarity and freedom of belief, but operate behind the scenes to prevent the EU from speaking out against religiously-motivated acts of violence", said the EPP Group Spokesman in the Foreign Affairs Committee, José Salafranca MEP, and the Rapporteur, Marietta Giannakou MEP.

The two MEPs describe as "particularly shameful" the behaviour by the Liberal ALDE Group, which expressly stated it rejected the Report because of a paragraph in which the committee expresses "concern over [the] proliferation of intolerance and strongly deplores acts of violence against religious communities, including Christians, who are being denied fundamental human rights solely because of their faith in various countries", and "strongly condemns, in particular, the numerous attempts to close or destroy of churches worldwide".

"Tolerance, the condemnation of violence, and freedom of belief are universal human values, which the EU should actively promote abroad", Salafranca and Giannakou underlined. "The ALDE Group must make clear that its liberalism does not equal tolerance for religious extremists", they concluded.

Note to editors

The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 274 Members from 27 Member States.

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