Religious freedom

Austria: Vienna, international symposium at the archbishop’s palace about current state of persecution against Christians across the world

Faced with the challenges of persecution and the breach of religious freedom in Europe and in the rest of the world, on 25th and 26th November Vienna will be hosting an international symposium called “Besieged: Christians under pressure in Europe and beyond”. Organised by the Observatory on intolerance and discrimination of Christians in Europe, in partnership with Christian Solidarity International and Kirche in Not, the meeting will take place at the archbishop’s palace in Vienna. According to the head organiser, Gudrun Kugler, “Christians are discriminated against, tortured and seriously persecuted because of their faith. In Syria and in Iraq, the regular mass killing of Christians is rated as ‘genocide’ by the international organisations. And in Europe – Kugler goes on – Christians are attacked with hate crime, vandalism in places of worship, and state restrictions”. The situation all over the world sees Christians being attacked, tortured, killed because of their faith. Guest speakers at the conference will include Ján Figel, EU special envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion and belief outside the European Union, cardinal Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna, José-Luis Bazán, legal advisor to Comece, as well as the story of a North Korean Christian man who managed to leave his country after having been sentenced to death because of his faith.