Briefing Paper: Christians under attackJANUARY 2011:
In the European Parliament in Strasbourg there will be a debate on the recent attacks on Christians in Nigeria, Egypt and Iraq. Tomorrow there will be a vote on the issue.
This is a briefing paper provided by European Parliament researcher Patrick Harrington, who is also a key figure in the independent nationalist trade union Solidarity.
"Following the latest at tacks against Christian communities in several countries, the EPP Group has taken the initiative of asking the EU and the High Representative Ashton to plan urgent and concrete measures to defend Christian communities and freedom of religion worldwide. Statistics tell us that last year 75% of religiously-motivated violence in the world was against Christians.
There have been several attacks against Christians during the Winter period, particularly in Nigeria, Iraq and Egypt."
Two people were killed and at least 16 wounded in a series of bomb attacks on the homes of minority Christians in the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, on Dec. 30.
Over Christmas, six people were killed in attacks on two Christian churches in northeastern Nigeria and six were wounded by a bomb in a Roman Catholic Church on the island of Jolo in the Philippines.
A New Year bombing outside a church in the Egyptian city of Alexandria killed 23 people and wounded dozens, and prompted demonstrations by both Christians and Muslims.
The Vatican has expressed fears that the attacks, combined with severe restrictions on Christians in countries such as Saudi Arabia, are fuelling a Christian exodus from the Middle East.
Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament, had this to say on the issue:
"It is clear that there are some fundamentalist elements seeking to create sectarian division within the Iraqi society where Christianity has been an integral part of the fabric of Middle-Eastern society for two millennia. We monitor the situation closely, I will continue to highlight the issue, at every possible opportunity, of the situation of Christians in Iraq and the broader Middle East region,"
You should take a strong stance against all attacks on Christians.
The situation in several countries is little short of an undeclared war on them.
I think the profile of this issue needs to be highlighted by articles and interviews to show the leaders of the Christian communities in these countries and in Europe that there are MEPs who are concerned at the persecution taking place.