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Violence against Christians in the Middle East Recommendation 1957 (2011)1 1.

The Parliamentary Assembly recalls that Christianity had its beginnings in the iddle !ast 2 000 years ago and that Christian comm"nities ha#e e$isted in the area since that time. 2. These comm"nities% &hich are made "' o( a"tochthono"s 'eo'le% ha#e been declining in n"mbers (or the last 100 years% mainly d"e to a combination o( lo& birth rates and emigration% &hich% in some 'laces% is ("elled by discrimination and 'ersec"tion. ). The sit"ation has become more serio"s since the beginning o( the 21st cent"ry and% i( it is not 'ro'erly addressed% it co"ld lead to the disa''earance * in the short term * o( Christian comm"nities (rom the iddle !ast% &hich &o"ld entail the loss o( a signi(icant 'art o( the religio"s heritage o( the co"ntries concerned. +. The n"mber o( attac,s on Christian comm"nities rose &orld&ide in 2010% as &ell as the n"mber o( trials and death sentences (or blas'hemy% &hich o(ten a((ect &omen (as in the case o( rs Asia -ibi). 5. Relations bet&een Christian comm"nities in the iddle !ast and the "slim ma.orities ha#e not al&ays been easy. /iscrimination is re'orted thro"gho"t the region and e$treme #iolence has occ"rred s'oradically in se#eral co"ntries. P"blic a"thorities in some "slim co"ntries ha#e not al&ays con#eyed the right signals abo"t religio"s comm"nities e$isting in their res'ecti#e co"ntries. 0. T&o recent e#ents &ere 'artic"larly tragic1 on )1 2ctober 2010% a hostage ta,ing in the 3yriac catholic Cathedral o( 2"r 4ady o( 3al#ation in -aghdad ended in the massacre o( &orshi''ers% 55 o( &hom died and 75 o( &hom &ere &o"nded. A s"icide bombing in a Co'tic ch"rch in Ale$andria ,illed 21 'eo'le and &o"nded 79 as &orshi''ers &ere lea#ing midnight mass on 1 6an"ary 2011. 7. The Assembly condemns these attac,s in "ne7"i#ocal terms and e$'resses its sincere condolences to the (amilies o( the #ictims% its sym'athy to the &o"nded and its solidarity &ith their (amilies. 5. 8t recalls that (reedom o( tho"ght% (reedom o( conscience and (reedom o( religion% incl"ding the (reedom to change one9s religion% are "ni#ersal h"man rights% enshrined in Article 15 o( the :ni#ersal /eclaration o( ;"man Rights% &hich e#ery member state o( the :nited <ations has committed to g"arantee. 8t &ishes also to dra& attention to Article 15 o( the 8nternational Co#enant on Ci#il and Political Rights o( 1900% to the :nited <ations /eclaration on the !limination o( All =orms o( 8ntolerance and o( /iscrimination based on Religion and -elie( o( 1951% to the re'orts o( the :nited <ations 3'ecial Ra''orte"r on (reedom o( religion or belie(% and in 'artic"lar her re'orts o( 29 /ecember 2009% 10 =ebr"ary 2010 and 29 6"ly 2010% to Article 9 o( the !"ro'ean Con#ention on ;"man Rights and to Article 10 o( the Charter o( ="ndamental Rights o( the !"ro'ean :nion.
Assembly debate on 27 6an"ary 2011 (7th 3itting) (see /oc. 12+9)% re'ort o( the Political A((airs Committee% ra''orte"r1 r >olont?). Te$t ado'ted by the Assembly on 27 6an"ary 2011 (7th 3itting).


e ("lly into acco"nt the recommendations o( the :nited <ations 2 . 10.2.).1. 'romote a 'olicy% at national and Committee o( inisters9 le#el% &hich integrates the 7"estion o( the res'ect (or the ("ndamental rights o( Christian minorities in (oreign relationsB 12. ta.9. 8n the light o( the increasing necessity to analyse and "nderstand the e#ol"tion o( c"lt"ral and religio"s de#elo'ments in international relations and contem'orary societies% the Assembly recommends that the Committee o( the inisters1 (ail to 'rotect religio"s denominationsB 11.ect o( (reedom o( religion or belie( and to the sit"ation o( religio"s comm"nities% incl"ding Christians% in its co@o'eration &ith third co"ntries as &ell as in h"man rights re'orts. 'ay increased attention to the s"b. de#elo'% as a matter o( "rgency% a Co"ncil o( !"ro'e strategy (or the en(orcement o( (reedom o( religion (incl"ding the (reedom to change one9s religion) as a h"man right% incl"ding a list o( meas"res against states &hich ."man Rights and the /irectorate Aeneral o( . The co@e$istence o( religio"s gro"'s is a sign o( 'l"ralism and o( an en#ironment (a#o"rable to the de#elo'ment o( democracy and h"man rights.5. 'rod"ce% 'romote and distrib"te ed"cational materials addressing anti@Christian stereoty'es and bias as &ell as Christiano'hobia in generalB 12. 8t &ishes to raise a&areness abo"t the need to combat all (orms o( religio"s ("ndamentalism and the mani'"lation o( religio"s belie(s (or 'olitical reasons% &hich are so o(ten at the basis o( 'resent day terrorism."man Rights and 4egal A((airs * to monitor the sit"ation o( go#ernmental and societal restrictions on religio"s (reedom and related rights in Co"ncil o( !"ro'e member states and in states in the iddle !ast% and re'ort 'eriodically to the AssemblyB 11. re("ge in !"ro'e% e$ce't in cases &here the s"r#i#al o( s"ch comm"nities becomes im'ossibleB in the latter cases% member states sho"ld ta. !d"cation and dialog"e are t&o im'ortant tools that co"ld contrib"te to&ards the 're#ention o( s"ch e#ils. de#elo' a 'ermanent ca'acity * in co@o'eration &ith the Commissioner (or . 11. re(rain (rom enco"raging the members o( the Christian comm"nities in the iddle !ast to see. rea((irm that the de#elo'ment o( h"man rights% democracy and ci#il liberties is the common basis on &hich they b"ild their relations &ith third co"ntries and ens"re that a democracy cla"se is incl"ded in the agreements bet&een them and third co"ntriesB 12. The Assembly calls on member states to1 12.e acco"nt o( the sit"ation o( Christian and other religio"s comm"nities in their bilateral 'olitical dialog"e &ith the co"ntries concernedB 12. The Assembly is con#inced that the loss o( Christian comm"nities in the iddle !ast &o"ld also endanger 8slam as it &o"ld signal the #ictory o( ("ndamentalism.1.).+. 12.2.

=ollo&ing the ado'tion by the !"ro'ean Parliament o( a resol"tion on the sit"ation o( Christians in the conte$t o( (reedom o( religion% on 20 6an"ary 2011% the Assembly calls on T" in 'artic"lar the s'eci(ic sit"ation o( those &ho con#ert to another religionB 12. 17.s on Christian comm"nities and other (aith gro"'s and to acce't the basis o( e7"al res'ect (or each denomination. 15."dgments and interim meas"res "nder R"le )9B 12..igh Commissioner (or Re("gees in dealing &ith asyl"m and ret"rn iss"es and ("lly com'ly &ith !"ro'ean Co"rt o( . 'romote and (acilitate relations bet&een the Christian dias'oras and their original comm"nities.'E4in.htm ) . condemn "ne7"i#ocally not only deadly attac.coe.). The Assembly ("rther "rges all states in the iddle !ast to1 15.intDmain. 'romote 'olicies to hel' relocate Christian re("gees in their home co"ntries and to s"''ort comm"nities o((ering a local re("ge to the Christian minorities o( the iddle !astB 12.FDdoc"mentsDado'tedte$tDta11Derec1957.s on innocent 'eo'le b"t also the "se o( #iolence in general% as &ell as all (orms o( discrimination and intolerance based on religion and belie(sB 15.ey to clari(y ("lly the circ"mstances s"rro"nding the interr"'tion o( the celebration o( Christmas ass in the #illages o( RiCo. The Assembly calls on all religio"s leaders in !"ro'e to condemn attac. The Assembly "rges 8ra7 and !gy't to be trans'arent and determined in their attem'ts to bring the c"l'rits o( the attac.0."man Rights . 1). 15. de#elo' a com'rehensi#e 'olicy o( asyl"m based on religio"s gro"nds% &hich &o"ld ac.1.5.s in -aghdad and in Ale$andria to ."stice as ra'idly as 'ossible. =inally the Assembly calls on the !"ro'ean :nion to enhance its monitoring o( the sit"ation o( Christian and other religio"s comm"nities in its 'olitical dialog"e &ith the co"ntries o( the iddle !ast and to lin."stice those res''aso and Ayia Triada in the northern 'art o( Cy'r"s on 25 /ecember 2010 and to bring to . 'romote 'ositi#e ed"cation abo"t religions% incl"ding Christian minoritiesB s"''ort acti#ely initiati#es aimed at 'romoting the interreligio"s dimension o( 10.2. 3"rsa1 htt'1DDassembly. s"''ort initiati#es aimed at 'romoting dialog"e among religio"s comm"nities in the iddle !astB 12. its neighbo"rhood 'olicy% incl"ding (inancial aid% to the degree o( h"man rights 'rotection and a&areness in those co"ntries. dialog"e.

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