A recently released report by the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians (a nonprofit group based in Austria) supplements and confirms Paul Coleman’s article in our June/July issue about discrimination against Christians in Europe.
The report documents numerous restrictions on religious freedom—related to conscientious objection, hate speech and anti-discrimination laws, education, and more—and incidents of anti-Christian vandalism and discrimination in more than thirty European countries last year.
Collectively these demonstrate (to quote Mark Movsesian’s post from this morning) how “governments [in the West] seem willing to require traditional Christians to give up their religious convictions as the price for entering the marketplace, or even doing charitable work.”
The organization’s director Dr. Gudrun Kugler answered a common objection to that claim in an address she delivered to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe:
Sometimes I get asked, how can a majority be discriminated against? Well, it is not the nominal Christian who is fully aligned to society’s mainstream, who suffers discrimination. It is those who strive to live according to the high ethical demands of Christianity, who experience a clash. Those are not the majority.
In other words, one can certainly call oneself a Christian without facing any kind of difficulty. It is not Christian identity but the freedom to preach and live out traditional Christian beliefs that is imperiled in Europe.
The full report is available here as a PDF.