Recent attacks on Christians strongly condemned by ParliamentJANUARY 2011:
"It's nice to be on the winning side after a debate and vote in the European Parliament," Nick said this morning.
He had just voted in support of a motion condemning attacks on Christian communities in Egypt, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Cyprus, Iran and Iraq.
The MEP also said that the growing violence was leading to an exodus of Christians from these countries which was a form of 'ethnic' cleansing of this religious minority.
A press release issued by the European Parliament at lunchtime said:
"Religion should not be abused by perpetrators of terrorist acts in different areas of the world, say MEPs. They denounce "the instrumentalisation of religion in various political conflicts".
Break up of Christmas mass in the northern part of Cyprus
The forcible interruption by the Turkish authorities of the Christmas Mass celebrated on Christmas Day (right) by the remaining 300 Christians in the northern part of Cyprus is also condemned in the resolution.
Freedom of religion and belief: an integral part of relations with third countries
MEPs ask the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs to make sure that freedom of religion or belief and the situation of religious communities, including Christians, remain high on the agenda in relations with third countries. They stress this should be reflected in agreements and human rights reports.
In addition, they ask the forthcoming External Affairs Council of 31 January 2011 to discuss the persecution of Christians and respect for religious freedom or belief as well as the instruments that could be used to provide security and protection for Christians under threat around the world.
Among these instruments, MEPs call for a strategy to enforce the human right to freedom of religion, including a list of measures against states who knowingly fail to protect religious denominations.