Human rights experts and eye-witnesses join MEPs to question international lack of focus on persecuted church
Over 100,000 Christians denied access to food and healthcare, living in Internal Displacement Camps in northern Myanmar
BRUSSELS (27 September 2021) – Recent world events have called attention to the significance of religious freedom. But is the international community doing enough to protect the human rights of those persecuted for their faith?
On Tuesday 28 September 2021, MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen (Netherlands), alongside MEP Ladislav Ilčić (Croatia) and MEP Michaela Šojdrová (Czech Republic), will host a conversation with human rights experts and witnesses, hearing analyses, eye-witness reports, and personal experiences of faith-based persecution in Myanmar.
Webinar: The Forgotten Christian Minorities in Myanmar
When: 10.30am-12pm CET, Tuesday 28th September 2021
Where: Room SPAAK 1A2 and online
- MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen (NL) (Host);
- MEP Ladislav Ilčić (HR) (Co-Host);
- MEP Michaela Šojdrová (CZ) (Co-host)
- Dr Adina Portaru, Senior Counsel, Europe, ADF International
- Alex Aung Khant, Independent candidate in the 2019 Yangon City Development Committee elections, escapee from Myanmar post-coup
- Benedict Rogers, Human Rights Activist & Journalist
The European Parliament acknowledged in January that “Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world, constituting 80 % of all persecuted religious believers”. Yet although much media attention has rightfully been given to the plight of Rohingya Muslims, the ongoing conflict in Myanmar has had an impact on Christian minorities that has gone largely unnoticed. More than 100,000 Christians in the north live in Internal Displacement Camps where they are deprived of access to food and health care. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new challenges, since many Christians are deliberately overlooked in the distribution of government aid. Besides these circumstances, blasphemy and anti-conversion laws put Christians at risk of imprisonment for their beliefs.
Despite ongoing examples of faith-based persecution evident across the world, the position of Special Envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the EU is currently vacant. The role has only been filled for five months out of the past two years.
“Nobody should be persecuted for their beliefs. Christians are the most persecuted religious group, and the international community must not turn a blind eye to this fact. In Myanmar and across the world, we see both authoritarian regimes and militant groups severely restricting the practice of faith in private and public, as well as committing atrocities against religious minorities. We urge the EU institutions to take all necessary measures to ensure that religious freedom is fully protected for everyone,” said Adina Portaru, Senior Legal Counsel, Europe, for ADF International in Brussels.
The Webinar will take place in person and online.
Interested in an interview with Dr. Adina Portaru? Do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.