Kevin J. Jones, Catholic News Agency, March 21, 2012
A new report says that 85 percent of hate crimes committed in Europe during 2011were aimed at Christians.
The report, from the Austria-based Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe, summarized incidents ranging from vandalism and insults to the suppression of religious symbols, desecrations, “hate crimes” and religiously motivated violence.
Dr. Gudrun Kugler, director of the observatory, said studies suggest that 85 percent of hate crimes in Europe are directed against Christians.
“It is high time for the public debate to respond to this reality!” Kugler said.
In Scotland, 95 percent of religiously motivated violence targets Christians. In France, 84 percent of vandalism is directed against Christian places of worship.
The observatory has also monitored professional restrictions on Christians. A restrictive definition of freedom of conscience means that professions such as magistrates, doctors, nurses, midwives and pharmacists are “slowly closing for Christians.”
Teachers and parents “get into trouble” when they disagree with state-defined sexual ethics, the report said.
One survey in the U.K. indicates popular perception agrees. Seventy-four percent of poll respondents said that there is more negative discrimination against Christians than people of other faiths.