A cause for concern in Europe



A cause for concern in Europe

Freedom of opinion, religion and belief
Persecution of, and discrimination against, minority-groups


Brussels, 16th of October 2013


By the European Interreligious Forum for Religious Freedom (EIFRF)

With the participation of

The Gerard Noodt Foundation for FoRB / United Sikhs International / Pro Europa Christiana / Soteria International / CAPLC Europe / FOREF Europe / EMISCO

This conference will be held on the 16th of October 2013 (13:00 to 18:00) at 2 minutes walk from the EU parliament, Renaissance Hotel (Mariott), Rue du Parnasse, 1050 Brussels. To reserve your place, please contact: Laure Ferrari 0032 228 47469, laure.ferrari@europarl.europa.eu

Freedom of belief, religion and opinion, as well as religious freedoms in general, are fundamental rights, guaranteed by numerous international treaties and conventions, including several European ones. Nevertheless, many recent reports describe a large number of infringements of these rights, even in European countries. Indeed, minorities of belief are increasingly subjected to discrimination in some European countries, or even to persecution, by means of various deleterious instruments, which give an appearance of legality but which, in reality, are at odds with European and international standards of Human Rights.

Because the believers in every religion, and the holders of any particular belief or opinion, are in the minority somewhere, the rights of the adherents of any faith or view are liable to infringement, as perpetrated by governments or as promoted by groups working as front-organizations for particular vested interests or for governments.

In this Conference, we will examine in detail the trend in Europe to increase restrictions on freedom of opinion, religion and belief, as well as the clandestine efforts of some governments to export discriminatory systems to other countries via European institutions, and the concrete effects of these things. We will examine the existing tools for protecting freedom of belief, religion and opinion (including international law, international jurisprudence and EU-jurisprudence). The speakers (in 2 different panels) will be representatives from various religious denominations, international experts in the relevant fields and specialist defenders of human rights.

Each panel-presentation will be followed by live debates.


Bashy Quraishy 
Secretary General – European Muslim Initiative For Social Cohesion – Strasbourg / Chairman – Advisory Council – European Network Against Racism – Brussels

Professor Juan Ferreiro Gualguera
Full professorship of Ecclesiastical Law at University of Coruna
Former Director General for Promotion and Protection of Religious Freedom at the Spain Ministry of Justice

Hans Noot
President of the Gerard Noodt Foundation
Member of the board of the ICRLS

Eric Roux
Steering Committee of the European Interreligious Forum for Religious Freedom

Dr. Alessandro Amicarelli 
PhD, Attorney at law. LAW Society of England and Wales
Doctor of Research in International Order and Human Rights
“SAPIENZA” University of Rome

Jasvir Singh
United Sihks Internaitonal

Patricia Duval
Attorney at Law – France
Specialist in European and international Human Rights law

Paul Herzog Von Oldenburg
Coordinator: International Federation, Pro Europa Christiana

Father Aethlwine
Orthodox Priest – Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch – UK

With an intervention by Godfrey Bloom – UK MEP

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