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EU expresses ‘profound concern’ over violence...

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EU expresses ‘profound concern’ over violence...

Mar-08-2011 at 03:20 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

Security guards outside the National Evangelical church in Basra, Iraq. Dozens of Christians have been killed by Islamic militants in recent months. (AP Photo)

EU expresses ‘profound concern’ over violence towards Christians
EU foreign ministers have issued a statement condemning violence against Christians and calling upon states to protect freedom of worship.
by Brian Hutt - Christianity Today. Tuesday, February 22, 2011 at 22:04 (GMT).

The statement was issued after the Foreign Affairs Council Meeting in Brussels yesterday.

The foreign ministers said: “The Council expresses its profound concern about the increasing number of acts of religious intolerance and discrimination, as epitomised by recent violence and acts of terrorism, in various countries, against Christians and their places of worship, Muslim pilgrims and other religious communities, which it firmly condemns.

“Regrettably, no part of the world is exempt from the scourge of religious tolerance.”

The ministers expressed their condolences and “solidarity” with the countries where religious violence was being experienced, as well as the victims.

They went on to affirm the EU’s “strong commitment” to the promotion and protection of religious freedom and called upon states to protect citizens, including members of religious minorities.

“All persons belonging to religious communities and minorities should be able to practice their religion and worship freely, individually or in community with others, without fear of intolerance and attacks,” the statement continued.

“The international community needs to consolidate its collective response to those who want to use religion as an instrument of division, fuelling extremism and violence.

“The EU will continue to engage with partner countries and offer its cooperation to promote religious tolerance and to protect human rights.”

The reference to Christians was included despite the previous reluctance of some foreign ministers to single Christians out for special mention.

According to European Dignity Watch, five foreign ministers and EU High Representative Catherine Ashton had refused to make any mention of Christians in a statement on religious violence at the last Council meeting in January, despite the wave of attacks on Christians in the Middle East in recent months.

Christians across the Middle East have experienced an intensification of persecution in recent months. In Iraq, dozens were killed when gunmen opened fire inside the Our Lady of Salvation church in Baghdad last October, while in Egypt more than 20 Christians were killed in a bomb attack on a church in Alexandria on New Year’s Day. Both attacks were followed by random deadly attacks on Christians.

European Dignity Watch welcomed the statement but criticised the foreign ministers for making only a single reference to Christianity.

The advocacy group said the Council had produced a “carefully worded” and “politically correct” statement.

“A more courageous message on the part of the European Union would have unequivocally condemned the atrocities committed exclusively against Christians,” it said.

However, the group added that the statement would be welcomed by victimised Christian minorities in the Middle East “who need the ongoing support and solidarity of the EU”.


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Assyria \ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)   1:  an ancient empire of Ashur   2:  a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)   3:  a democratic state that fosters the social and political rights to all of its inhabitants irrespective of their religion, race, or gender   4:  a democratic state that believes in the freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture in faithfulness to the principles of the United Nations Charter — Atour synonym

Ethnicity, Religion, Language
» Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
» Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
» Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
Assyrian \ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)   1:  descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur   2:  the Assyrians, although representing but one single nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle ecclesiastically designated religious sects with their corresponding hierarchies and distinct church governments, namely, Church of the East, Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic.  These formal divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the Christian Era.  No one can coherently understand the Assyrians as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church from that which is nation -- a matter which is particularly difficult for the people from the western world to understand; for in the East, by force of circumstances beyond their control, religion has been made, from time immemorial, virtually into a criterion of nationality.   3:  the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya, Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean, Chaldo, ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu, Kasdu, Malabar, Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye, Suraya, Syriac, Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. — Assyrianism verb

Aramaic \ar-é-'máik\ n (1998)   1:  a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.   2:  has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.

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