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» 05/06/2010
RUSSIA
Orthodox: Europe allows freedom to criticise religions, but censors their voice in society
In response to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, who termed religious beliefs as "myths”. For the Moscow Patriarchate, Europe which boasts "freedom of expression," restricts the right of believers to express their ideas in society, in particular on bioethics and homosexual marriages.

Moscow (AsiaNews) - Europe applies double standards in dealing with measures of freedom of expression in society. This is the charge launched by the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate of Moscow, concerned that this fundamental right is not fully applied to religious communities. The deputy head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Patriarchate, the abbot Philipp Ryabykh, told Interfax news agency: “In the Western world the right to criticize every religious point of view is often claimed, but at the same time symbols of faith are censored and the religious approach to political and social life of citizens censored”.  

This is how the priest responds to the words of Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, according to whom criticism of governments and religions, "their myths and ideas”, meet European democratic standards. The religious outlook of many problems Ryabykh continues, "is often not considered in the same way as that based on scientific method or humanism, and indeed it is relegated to the realm of mythology, an insult to people who believe."  

Furthermore the priest points out that "religious language is censored in public life, thus Christmas becomes a simple holiday season, the Christmas tree is removed from public places as well as the crib to the point that they are even proposing to remove the crucifix from schools. " Europe "often calls for respect for freedom of expression and yet it restricts the right of believers to be in society with their views."  

Father Philipp calls for guarantees for the rights of religious communities to freely express their concerns on issues of bioethics or same-sex marriages: "If we build a society in which religious believers can also speak freely, we will have achieved the desired result for Europe '.  

In a recent article Jagland reiterated, "Freedom of speech and expression is the very essence of European identity."

 


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See also
02/14/2009 ISLAM - EUROPE
Fr. Samir: Gagging Fitna and Wilders does not promote dialogue among civilizations
by Samir Khalil Samir, sj
10/28/2004 DOSSIER EUROPE – CHINA
Chinese trade unionist tells Europe that China is not just a market
09/06/2006 EUROPE - CHINA
Seventh European Catholic conference about China
10/06/2004 TURKEY - EUROPE
What changes in store for Turkey and the EU
09/16/2006 CHINA - EUROPE
Wen Jiabao in Europe: big interest in technology, rather less in rights

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope: I am with the persecuted Christians of Mosul and the Middle East "May the God of peace inspire in all a genuine desire for dialogue and reconciliation. Violence is never defeated with violence. Violence is defeated with peace." At the Sunday Angelus Francis comments on the parable of the wheat and the weeds. God is "patient" He knows "the same weeds in the end, may become good wheat". But "at the time of the harvest, that is, of judgment, the reapers will execute the order of the master separating the weeds to be burned".
CHINA - VATICAN
Beijing, seminarians desert graduation ceremony: We will not celebrate Mass with illegitimate bishops The rector of the seminary is the illegitimate bishop Joseph Ma Yinglin: Students refuse to concelebrate with him and reject Msgr. Fang Xingyao, who has participated in several illegal episcopal ordinations. The directors close the year without awarding diplomas and send students home: rumors of some courses being "suspended" in September. The precedent of 2000, when 130 young students chose fidelity to the Pope over compromise with the government.
HONG KONG-CHINA-VATICAN
Card Zen: Religious freedom and civil liberties are united, for China and Hong Kong
by Bernardo CervelleraA wide ranging conversation with the bishop emeritus of Hong Kong: the courage of Msgr. Ma Daqin, who sent a message to Pope Francis; underground Catholics are also prepared to be arrested; suspicions about Beijing’s sincerity towards possible dialogue with the Holy See. And in Hong Kong, the march for a referendum on democracy; support for "Occupy Central"; the fear of the government and arrests. Card. Zen reaffirms that religious freedom and civil liberties go hand in hand.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
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