BRUSSELS (01/12/2015) – Members of EPRID have been invited and attended a high-level conference on inter-faith dialogue and the situation of Christians around the world that took place on Tuesday, at the European Parliament. The conference was organised by Antonio Tajani, vice-president of Parliament, and attended by President Martin Schulz. MEPs and experts from a number of countries focused on the persecution of Christians around the globe and discussed specific proposals for action.

Mr Tajani, who is responsible, as vice-president, for inter-religious dialogue, said: “Every month at least 200 churches or places of worship are attacked. Every day, in every region of our planet, we register new cases of systematic violence and persecution against Christians. No other religious community is faced with such hatred, violence and aggression as is the Christian community.”

Mr Schulz drew the conclusions of the debate. Mr Schulz said: “Persecution is happening outside the EU but we can’t afford to ignore it. ( … ) All of us, particularly in the EP, are aware that dialogue and mutual respect are needed. ( … ) Fundamental rights are under great threat today and persecution of a religion – it’s a breach of fundamental rights.” “I can assure you that Parliament will make its contribution wherever it can to protect Christians,” he concluded.

The meeting, which was held under Article 17 of the EU Treaty, on inter-religious dialogue, also featured contributions by Anthony L. Gardner, US ambassador to the EU, representatives from the Community of Saint’Egidio, Dr Paul Bhatti from Pakistan and Ms Helene Berhane from Eritrea, who sang a gospel song before the closing remarks.