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Christian Institute: Lillian Ladele was claiming religious discrimination after being forced out of her Islington Council job over her conscientious objection to same-sex civil partnerships. She was seeking to appeal to the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights after losing a 5-2 majority decision in January.
Liv&Ratt: On May 27, the European Court of Human Rights’ Grand Chamber Panel will consider whether to grant an appeal to Shirley Chaplin and Gary MacFarlane, both of whom lost in their respective parts of Edweida and Others v. The United Kingdom when the verdict was handed down on January 15 of this year.
WorldNetDaily: The riots in Stockholm this week follow much larger and more devastating unrest in recent years seen in major European cities like London and Paris. In London, a horrific case developed Wednesday where two knife-wielding attackers allegedly beheaded a soldier. Both areas saw raging violence as immigrant youth, primarily Muslim, marauded through the streets wreaking havoc.
The Observatory’s Report on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in the Year 2012 was released on May, 21st, 2013, at an OSCE high level conference on Tolerance and Discrimination in Albania.
Irish Times: Abortion legislation is incompatible with the core values of human rights, Prof William Binchy, legal adviser to the anti-abortion campaign, has told the Oireachtas committee. He said those values respected and protected the equal dignity and worth of every human being.
AP: The survey, released on the International Day against Homophobia, is important, she said, because “for the first time, we see how much fear there is still around.”
AP: An elderly Swiss woman who would rather end her life now than decline further in health found sympathy Tuesday from the European Court of Human Rights, which called on the Swiss to clarify their laws on so-called passive assisted suicide. | Gross v. Switzerland, 67810/10
Voice of Russia: Roger Kishka, senior lawyer, Alliance Defending Freedom and Andrea Williams, chairman, Christian Concern – UK evalute the consequences of recent Council’s of Europe Parliamentary Assembly resolution devoted to religious freedom.
BBC: Cardinal Sean Brady has urged 5,500 people at an anti-abortion prayer vigil in the Irish Republic to lobby their politicians over a draft abortion bill.
Christian Concern: In an important development for the protection of ‘freedom of thought, conscience and religion’ the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has passed a resolution calling on its 47 Member states to . . .
NTD Television: Human Rights Without Frontiers, an international NGO based in Brussels, presented its latest report on freedom of religion and belief around the world at the European Parliament on Tuesday.
C-FAM: European leaders pressing President Obama to fund African abortions argue that a novel interpretation of laws governing war should trump US restrictions on abortion funding. To make their case, they are elevating the views of a few experts from a different body of law—human rights.
Christian Concern: A special event has been held at the Council of Europe in relation to two UK Christians who are seeking a referral to the Grand Chamber in their religious freedom cases at the European Court of Human Rights.
Christian Concern: Three Christians whose cases were rejected by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) earlier this year have requested a referral to the Grand Chamber.
EurasiasiaNet.org: The recent conviction of Turkish virtuoso pianist Fazil Say on charges of blasphemy is sending a troubling message to secular Turks that the Turkish government values religious expression only if it conforms to authorities’ views on religion.
Alliance Defending Freedom and the Home School Legal Defense Association have asked the European Court of Human Rights to hear the case of a Swedish family heavily fined for home-schooling their daughter.
NPR: More than 23,600 people were victims of human trafficking in Europe during a recent three-year period, according to a new European Union report that says the problem is growing worse. Its authors say the official figures do not come close to describing the crime . . .
AP: Hungary has failed to reinstate judges and prosecutors it forced into early retirement in breach of EU law, the European Union’s justice chief said Wednesday . . .
Prague Daily Monitor: The portion of people aged over 65 increased from 19.1 percent to 23.4 percent of the Czech population over the past 20 years. The EU average rose from 21.1 to 26.8 percent over the same period.
DW.de: France has just taken a big step towards equal rights for homosexuals by allowing same-sex couples to marry. Across the EU, however, acceptance of civil partnerships varies considerably.
Hurriyet Daily News: EU Minister Egemen Bağış says Islam is a reality for the EU and Europeans won’t get anywhere by burying their heads in the sand
AFP on Google: The number of children born outside marriage in Europe has doubled over two decades to 40 percent, with Estonia, Slovenia and France registering almost three out of every five births out of wedlock, EU data showed Tuesday.
BBC: Two in five babies were born outside marriage in the EU in 2011, with numbers more than doubling since 1990, the EU’s statistics agency says.
Leicester Mercury: In November, there will be a vote in the European Parliament on the Stockholm Program which compels member states to recognise and uphold the “effect of civil status documents of another EU state”. The report deals with the issue of cross-border harmonisation within the European Union and implies an EU-wide de facto recognition of same-sex marriage.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: Last night, the US and EU called for deleting a reafirmation that every human being has the inherent right to life, liberty and security of persons. This year’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) has become the equivalent of D-Day for abortion hard-liners
FT.com: Critics say the amendments contain provisions threatening the independence of the judiciary, and potentially violating freedom of religion and the principle of separation of state and church. They narrowly define heterosexual marriage and “marriage and parent-child relationships” as the basis of the family.
“During Benedict’s Papacy, Religious Observance Among Catholics in Europe Remained Low but Stable” | Pew Forum
The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life: An analysis of Pew Research Center surveys reveals no signs of a marked resurgence of faith among Catholics in France, Germany, Spain and Italy – the four countries with the largest Catholic populations in Western Europe. Yet the picture facing the church is not entirely bleak. French, Italian and Spanish Catholics have reported low but relatively stable levels of religious commitment in recent years. In Germany, too, the overall trend in religious commitment has been fairly stable over the past decade, despite short-lived shifts in the importance German Catholics place on religion.
AP: Germany’s foreign minister says Berlin will fight a European Union proposal to introduce mandatory quotas for the number of women on the boards of private companies.
Paul Coleman at Bell Towers: When is a church not a church? The answer – when the government says so. At least this is the case in several European countries, where a multi-tiered system is strictly operated and only the entities that reach the top tier are officially recognized as churches.
BBC: Campaigners and politicians from NI and the Irish Republic have gathered at Stormont to oppose any change to abortion laws on the island of Ireland.
Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe: Upon the request of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians submitted 67 individually documented hate crimes and hate incidents on March 1st.
Had The Woman Been A Man… Comments On The Echr Ruling Of X And Others V. Austria On Homosexual Adoption And The Abandonment Of Natural Law.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: The Court establishes that the impossibility of second-parent adoption in a same-sex relationship is discriminatory when such adoption is possible for unmarried heterosexual couples, although the exclusion of the biological parent. The reasoning may be thus summarised: If the woman had been a man, the adoption would have been possible, so it must be possible in the name of non-discrimination according to sexual orientation while the woman is not a man.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: Grégor Puppinck, a frequent author on this blog, has published a legal analysis on the website of the renowned European Journal of International Law, in which he concludes that laws allowing abortion on demand are in clear contradiction to the European Human Rights Convention, which in its Article 2 protects the Right to Life.
Belfast Telegraph: A legal victory for a lesbian couple who want to jointly raise one partner’s child could lead to same sex couples in Northern Ireland being allowed to adopt, a gay rights activist has said.
Gatestone Institute: Spain has acceded to the demands of the Islamist government in Morocco by agreeing that Moroccan children adopted by Spanish families must remain culturally and religiously Muslim.
Turtle Bay and Beyond: October 18th 2011, the Court of Justice of the European Union delivered an important judgment in the area of the protection of the human embryo in the case C-34/10 Oliver Brüstle v Greenpeace e.V. In this case the judges in Luxembourg précised the legal definition of the human embryo, and relying on the respect due to human dignity, excluded from patentability all processes which would imply the destruction of human embryo, such as a processes using embryonic stem cells.
Polski Radio: Rev. Guy Liagre, Secretary-General of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences, said in Warsaw on Wednesday that Islam in Europe is becoming more fundamentalist and radical.
EU Court Holds Hearing On Right Of Religious Groups To Make Employment Decisions Based On Religious Affiliation
Turtle Bay and Beyond: On wednesday, 30 January, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg held a hearing in a case concerning the right of churches to choose employees based on religious affiliation.
De Spiegel: Moscow is currently seeking to make “homosexual propaganda” a prosecutable offense. But in Germany, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle has warned Russia’s ambassador that the new legislation could aggravate European-Russian relations.
Gatestone Institute: These reactions are indicative of the contempt the political elites have for the concept of democratic accountability.
Christian Institute: The Government’s attempt to prevent the Church of England performing same-sex marriages could be illegal under European law, a leading human rights lawyer has said.
GoErie.com: There is no doubt that religious liberty is under serious threat in Britain, particularly for Christians,” says Paul Coleman, a lawyer with the Alliance Defending Freedom, which was involved with cases before the European human-rights court. “In the language of ‘equality,’ ‘diversity’ and ‘tolerance,’ secularists have found a way to sideline and marginalize Christianity, successfully framing the moral beliefs of Christians as ‘intolerant’ or ‘discriminatory’ and unworthy of protection. Unless a true balance is found, where Christians can be accommodated in the public square and not shut out, we will see many more cases like the four before the ECHR in the headlines.”
Christian Post: For the first time ever, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled against the United Kingdom on a matter of religious liberty involving a Christian woman who worked for British Airways.
Wendy Wright at C-FAM: A European court victory for environmentalists has inspired a continent-wide campaign to end European Union funding of embryo-destructive research and abortion.
Rick Garnett at Mirror of Justice: Over at the site of the (excellent) Religious Freedom Project (a project of Georgetown’s Berkley Center), Roger Trigg has a very informative essay called “Canary in the Coal Mine,” in which he discusses four recent decisions handed down by the European Court of Human Rights. Here is his concluding paragraph . . .
Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe: We thank the Christian Legal Centre (www.christianconcern.com/christian-legal-centre) and Alliance Defending Freedom (www.alliancedefendingfreedom.org) for their detailed analyses of the cases and the text elements provided in this text. We also thank the European Center for Law and Justice (www.eclj.org) for their publications.
The Christian Institute: A leading religious liberties lawyer has criticised the ruling against a Christian registrar in Europe last week, saying the judges in Strasbourg “got it wrong”. In a piece for The Guardian website, Mark Hill QC said Lillian Ladele is the “real loser” in the four discrimination cases, because her stance on civil partnerships could have been accommodated.
BosNewsLife: A Christian Europarliamentarian has urged Ireland to use its European Union presidency to tackle the world’s “growing persecution of Christians.”
What Are We Doing Here: Misunderstanding freedom on both sides of the Atlantic. | Kathryn Jean Lopez at NRO
Jean Kathryn Lopez at National Review and Troy Messenger: “There is no doubt that religious liberty is under serious threat in Britain, particularly for Christians,” says Paul Coleman, a lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom, which was involved with cases before the European human-rights court. “In the language of ‘equality,’ ‘diversity’ and ‘tolerance,’ secularists have found a way to sideline and marginalize Christianity, successfully framing the moral beliefs of Christians as ‘intolerant’ or ‘discriminatory’ and unworthy of protection. Unless a true balance is found, where Christians can be accommodated in the public square and not shut out, we will see many more cases like the four before the ECHR in the headlines.”
The New American: Roger Kiska, senior legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, which assisted in the cases of all four of the individuals, reacted to the rulings, pointing out that “Christian employees should not be singled out for discrimination. No one should have to hide their faith or act contrary to it. That type of intolerance is inconsistent with the values of civilized communities.” Kiska called the victory for Eweida “a significant step forward for religious freedom in Europe. However, it is extremely disappointing that the court ruled against the three other applicants. We hope they will appeal that decision to the Grand Chamber of the court.”
European Court of Human Rights Vindicates Britain In 3 of 4 Cases Denying Accommodation of Christian Beliefs | Religion Clause Blog
EUObserver.com: Roger Kiska, senior legal counsel to the Alliance Defending Freedom, said that the “victory for one of the Christian applicants is a significant step forward for religious freedom in Europe.” However, he added that it was “extremely disappointing that the Court ruled against the three other applicants and it is hoped that they will appeal the decision to the Grand Chamber of the Court.”
Huffington Post (includes video): The U.S.-based Alliance Defending Freedom, which helped represent Eweida in British courts, said “Christian employees should not be singled out for discrimination. No one should have to hide their faith or act contrary to it.” The ADF called the other three rejections “extremely disappointing.”
Washington Post: The U.S.-based Alliance Defending Freedom, which helped represent Eweida in British courts, said “Christian employees should not be singled out for discrimination. No one should have to hide their faith or act contrary to it.” The ADF called the other three rejections “extremely disappointing.”
Washington Blade: The Religion News Service reported that Alliance Defending Freedom, an American anti-gay organization, said “Christian employees should not be singled out for discrimination,” but categorized the court’s decision to reject the other three cases as “extremely disappointing.
This post may be updated. Catholic Culture: Mixed religious-freedom rulings at European Court of Human Rights The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that British Airways violated the European Convention of Human Rights in telling an employee in 2006 …
AP: Record unemployment and fraying social welfare systems in southern Europe risk creating a new divide in the continent, the EU warned Tuesday, when figures showed joblessness across the 17 EU countries that use the euro hit a new high.
Guardian: Gay clergy in civil partnerships will be allowed to become bishops if they are sexually abstinent, according to new policy.
Gatestone Institute: Shortly before Christmas the European Court threw out a lawsuit filed almost three years ago, which would have led to the EU being required to release the details of its funding of non-governmental organizations [NGOs].
The Independent: The Vatican has received a generous early Christmas present from European Union chiefs with the announcement that illegal tax exemption from 2006 to 2011, which saved the Catholic Church billions of euros, will not have to be paid back.
Irish Independent (includes video): NEW laws to reform the limited ban on abortion will only allow a pregnancy to be terminated if there is a real and substantial risk to a woman’s life – including the threat of suicide, it has been confirmed. The Government will introduce a combination of legislation and regulation in the new year to legalise the procedure as a last resort to save a pregnant woman’s life.
Reuters: Britain’s anti-European Union party has scooped up support from voters traditionally loyal to Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservatives after the government announced plans to allow gay couples to marry, three polls showed on Sunday.
Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Paul Coleman has authored an important new book, released this week, about the criminalization of so-called “hate speech” in Europe and the widespread threat it poses to free speech everywhere.
LifeSiteNews: It is “inevitable that gay couples will seek the right to marry in Church and that Churches will refuse to permit them to do so,” said UKIP. Despite the government’s assurances, “there will, very soon after the introduction of gay civil marriage, be a challenge in first the domestic courts of England and Wales and then in the European Court of Human Rights alleging that the exclusion of gay people from the right to have a religious ceremony of marriage is unlawful discrimination against them on the grounds of their sexual orientation.”
Paul Coleman at IntoleranceAgainstChristians.eu: Summarizing what appears to be the popular position on “hate speech” laws, two judges of the European Court of Human Rights recently held that “extremist opinions can bring much more harm than restrictions on freedom of expression.” This book seeks to challenge this prevailing orthodoxy by detailing the stark history of the internationalization of “hate speech” laws, their present day application and their possible future. Over thirty “hate speech” cases are discussed and a fully up-to-date compendium containing hundreds of European “hate speech” laws is included.
AP: The EU received the Nobel Peace Prize on Monday for promoting peace and human rights in Europe following the devastation of World War II, and the bloc was urged to use that unity in its battle with an economic crisis that is causing suffering for many of its citizens.
Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Roger Kiska will join two other expert witnesses to testify before the U.S. Helsinki Commission Monday on the state-sanctioned marginalization of Christians in Western Europe.
AP: Attorney General Eric Holder and European Union Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström will launch a global alliance targeting online child sexual abuse, building on the success of cross-border police operations that have dismantled international pedophile networks.
Gatestone Institute: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a bloc of 57 Muslim countries, is pressuring Western countries into making it an international crime to criticize Islam or Mohammed – all on the name of “religious tolerance.”