Exhibition of persecuted Christians in Brussels: the EU "has a moral duty to credibly protect religious freedom"


A photographic exhibition on persecuted Christians was organized at the European Parliament in Brussels by Christian MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen, in partnership with the NGO Portes Ouvertes and the Underground Church Foundation (SDOK), on September 18. The objective of this exhibition is to recall that the European Union "has a moral duty to credibly protect freedom of religion" throughout the world.

An exhibition bringing together dozens of photos of Christian victims of persecution was held from September 18 to 22 at the European Parliament in Brussels.

An exhibition at the initiative of Christian MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen, whose ambition was to highlight the persecution of Christians and remind the European Union of its duty of protection with regard to religious freedom.

At a conference organized for the inauguration of the exhibition which was held on September 19, Bert-Jan Ruissen pointed out the silence of the institution in the face of these “serious violations”.

“The European Union claims to be a community of values ​​but too often remains silent on serious violations.”

He added that "the thousands of victims and their families must be able to count on the action of the European Union." “As an economic power bloc, we must hold all countries accountable and ensure that all believers are free to practice their religion,” concluded the MEP.

In the photos exhibited, we can see the numerous violence experienced by thousands of Christians around the world. In one of them, for example, a Chinese Christian appears hanging from a pole by the police.

“Awesome stories at our EP (European Parliament) exhibition on Christian persecution.”

Jelle Creemers, director of the Institute for the Study of Freedom of Religion and Belief at the Faculty of Evangelical Theology as well as Anastasia Hartman, advocacy officer for the NGO Portes Ouvertes, also spoke at the 'inauguration.

In particular, they declared that it is the role of the EU to promote and enforce religious freedom. 

"A European policy that promotes freedom of religion is not only about individual freedoms, but also helps fight injustice," said Jelle Creemers, while Anastasia Hartman said that "freedom of religion should be high on the agenda." place on the agenda, because when Christians and non-Christians have their fundamental freedoms protected, they can become a blessing to the entire community.”

According to the report of theGlobal index of persecution of Christians from the NGO Portes Ouvertes, published in January 2022, persecution against Christians continues to grow.

Thus, 360 million Christians are currently victims of persecution or discrimination in the world, which represents 1 in 7 Christians.

In the 2023 index, which runs from October 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022, "an estimated 312 million Christians are heavily persecuted and discriminated against." North Korea, followed by Somalia and Yemen are the three countries where persecution is most significant. Nigeria remains "the first country where Christians are murdered because of their faith for the 9th year in a row" since 9 out of 10 Christians killed in the world are in Nigeria.

Another striking figure: today, nearly 15 Christians are killed per day in the world because of their faith.

Melanie Boukorras

Image credit: Shutterstock / Jeremiah Castelo

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