COMECE: “freedom of religion is a cornerstone of human rights”
COMECE reaffirmed the fundamental right to Freedom of Religion (FoRB) during a meeting at the EU Parliament on 5 November, highlighting the problem of religious illiteracy and the need to reinforce the EU mechanism for its protection.
Organised by MEP Andrzej Grzyb (EPP), the event gathered Mairead McGuinness, Vicepresident of the EU Parliament, Jan Figel, EU Special Envoy on FoRB, and representatives of Churches, religious and non-confessional organisations.
While highlighting the different dimensions of the right to freedom of religion and its importance as a cornerstone of human rights, COMECE called politicians and the civil society to better address religious illiteracy that contributes to fuel negative biases and stereotypes against faithful and religion.
COMECE expressed the particular responsibility of media actors (Article 10 ECHR) to act in accordance with the principles of responsible journalism and contribute positively and respectfully to public debates on religion.
“Journalists – stated Pope Francis in his message for World Communication Day – have the responsibility to communicate the truth [because] when we are faithful to God’s plan, communication becomes an effective expression of our responsible search for truth and our pursuit of goodness”.
COMECE sees as positive the proposal to place the EU Special Representative for FoRB under the authority of the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
COMECE also suggests to reformulate the competences of the EU Special Representative with a strong, independent and flexible mandate, enhancing the visibility and effectiveness of the EU’s FoRB policy outside the EU.