Yesterday, Zenit reported that the EU is currently mounting an investigation into the challenges surrounding religious freedom in an increasingly diverse culture.
The official description of the three year investigation, which began in February 2010, explains that it starts “from the presumption of the universality of the concept of equality and how it is being challenged by the increasing diversity of religious beliefs and other convictions that are transforming the intellectual, cultural and religious landscape of Europe.”
The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe has just published their submission to the investigation, making clear some points about the separation of Church and State, an almost incantatory phrase used by atheists and secularists the world over to promote an anti-religious agenda.
“Christianity does recognize the secular character of the state, the Observatory’s submission explained. It is important, however, to correctly define this term. Secular refers to what is earthly or temporal. Thus the task of public authorities is to ensure the temporal well-being of citizens, while religion looks after their eternal salvation.
“These tasks are distinct from one another, but this separation does not mean that the state should be irreligious or anti-religious, or that religious views should be excluded from public debates, the submission maintained.”
The submission also defended the right of religious people to educate their own children according to their own beliefs, and to uphold the traditional concept of marriage.
After the question of the burka in France, crosses in classrooms in Italy, and the case of Eunice and Owen Johns in England, this report comes at an opportune time, whether it will come to any conclusions advantageous to Europe’s Christians remains to be seen, but I have my doubts.
If you want to see that this is not a European-only issue, look at this story on referring to heaven when honouring victims of the September 11th attacks in the USA.
Of related interest:
|LUMEN The Catholic Gift to Civilisation – In a recent debate, broadcast worldwide by the BBC, over 87% of the audience rejected the motion that the Catholic Church is a force for good in the world. To set the record straight, this booklet summarises the extraordinary fruitfulness of the faith.|
|Creation and Science – Who created the Universe? Is a creator even necessary? Can science explain how the Universe came into being without reference to a creator God? This booklet explores these ideas and the arguments that have been brought forward.|
|Apologia – The rise of secularism and the new atheists has led to many difficult questions being regularly posed about religion in general and the Catholic Faith in particular.|