EU Must Act to Protect Christian Minorities in the Middle East

EU Must Act to Protect Christian Minorities in the Middle East

2015. 01. 14.

MEP Hölvényi emphasized that the situation demands both short- and long-term action. Immediate help must be given to those who live in refugee camps in life threatening circumstances, in cooperation with humanitarian aid organizations active in the region. Wherever security conditions allow, long-term aid must be built up. If not, the EU will face new waves of immigration.

High Representative Mogherini said that persecution of Christians refers not only to the millions presently in danger but also the threatened extinction of a culture in the Middle East whose history goes back thousands of years. Therefore, as High Representative and Vice President of the Commission, Mogherini sees a need to execute a more definite action plan.

In his response, MEP Hölvényi, recalling the EPP’s twenty years of experience in inter-religious dialogue, emphasized that the situation in the Middle East should not be considered a religious issue alone but a human rights issue as well. Mogherini expressed concern over the dangerous practice of abusing religion and exploiting it for political purposes.

Former French Minister of Justice and MEP Rachida Dati, stated her expectation that the EU carry out a clear strategy to deal with challenges like the fight against terrorism and the protection of cultural heritage in crisis zones. Lorenzo Cesa, Italian MEP of the EPP Group, emphasized that the EU must raise issues of interreligious dialogue as part of European foreign policy.