Churches' Approach to Human RightsChurches' Approach to Human Rights

Welcome to the Church and Society Commission’s Human Rights Library which was created in 2010.

The aim of this project is to present the diversity of opinions on human rights within CEC member churches. The material found in the electronic library could serve as a resource material for your church to organise seminars, workshop or training in this field. Please send all your contributions to the human rights library to the CSC Human Rights Secretary.

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GENERAL
Churches’ approaches to Human Rights

Publications of the Church of Norway on Human Rights

-Sier Vi  Available only in Norwegian

Ressource material on anti-Semitism, islamophobia and anti -Signanism from the Church of Norway

 

Set the oppressed free: The Church of Norway and human rights

A resource document for reflection and action on reading the Bible through the lens of human dignity and human rights. 

 

 

 

Human rights: what does God require of us? Justice informed by Love
Church of Scotland - Church and Society Council

Sinappi, St Petersburg and Siikaniemi

The 13th, 14th and 15th theological discussions between the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and the Russian Orthodox Church

Human Rights and Religious Faith, The Most Revd. and Rt. Hon. Rowan Williams - Archbishop of Canterbury (2012)

Advancing Human Dignity – through human rights and traditional values,  ECRL Moscow Declaration

Human Rights Position Paper - A Church Perspective
The area of Human Rights has become contested in Northern Ireland. Although agreements were made in this area at the time of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement difference and division across the community remains.  The Churches have found themselves involved in this debate, seeking to bring a Christian perspective to the issues that arise but have always faced the challenge of a highly politicized debate which sometimes fail to become realistic and meaningful outside of the political accommodations that have to be reached. (2010)


COMMUNIQUÉ (English, Finnish) on the Fourteenth Theological Discussion between the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and the Russian Orthodox Church, with the title "Freedom as Gift and Responsibility. Human Rights and Religious Education from the Christian Perspective" with its conclusions (2008)

Outcome of the 14th Theological Discussions between Russian Orthodox Church and Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland St. Petersburg, September 18th -24th, 2008


Globalization and its Impact on Human Dignity and Human Rights by
The United Methodist Church (2008)


The Russian Orthodox Church's Basic Teaching on Human Dignity, Freedom and Rights


A response by the Community of the Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE)  Leuenberg Church Fellowship -  to the principles of the  Russian Orthodox Church on "Human Dignity, Freedom and Rights"

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CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS
© Armenian Apostolic Church

Minimal Standards for Churches and Communities of Faith and Conviction, 21 November 2009. German, English

Freedom of Religion or Belief

Statement on the Politicization of Religion and Rights of Religious Minorities
10th Assembly of the World Council of Churches
30 October to 8 November 2013 - Busan, Republic of Korea


Religious Freedom and Foreign Policy

Recommendations for Finland, Finnish Ecumenical Council publications XCIX 2013


Article 18: An Orphaned Right

A Report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on International Religious Freedom


Authors:
Baroness Berridge of the Vale of Catmose, Lord Singh of Wimbledon, Lord Alton of Liverpool, Baroness Cox of Queensbury, Jim Dobbin MP, Angie Bray MP, Professor Malcolm Evans, Professor Javaid Rehman, Ziya Meral, Dr Nazila Ghanea-Hercock, Katherine Cash, Dr Sean Oliver-Dee.

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Misuse of the Blasphemy Law and Religious Minorities in Pakistan

Report of the International HearingCommission of the Churches on International Affairs, World Council of Churches

State Persectution of the Religious Freedoms in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
A Chronoligical Overview of the State Persecution against the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric in the Time Period from June 2002 to July 2012

Photo: Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid © Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric

 

A Seminar on Religious Freedom, organized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in collaboration with the Council of European Episcopal Conferences, was held in Istanbul, Turkey on May 17-18, 2013
Edict of Milan Seminar Communiqué

Pieni opas uskonnonvapauteen - A brief guide to Freedom of Religion
Finnish Ecumenical Council

The legal personality of religious communities in European countries by the Greek Evangelical Church - available in Greek only

 

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As publicised in late June, the Regional Court of Cologne, Germany, ruled on 7 May 2012 that circumcision of minors is liable to prosecution (Landgericht Köln, Az 151 Ns 169/11). The judgement triggered  a big debate in the German society and media as well as in other countries. Heiner Bielefeldt, Professor for Human Rights and Human Rights Policy as well as UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of religion or Belief, published an article (in German) on the public debate under the tilte: “Marginalisierung der Religionsfreiheit? Zum diskursiven Umfeld des Kölner Beschneidungsurteils.”

 

Fundamental Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief - German - Dr Peter Krömer


Promoting religious freedom around the world - July 2011

With religious communities under threat of discrimination and violence in many parts of the world, this conference identified how the international community can strengthen its ability to protect religious freedom. It built new partnerships between governments, NGOs and faith groups to help the exchange of good practice and to develop practical proposals to support those wishing to exercise their right to peaceful worship. The Church of England was involved in the preparation process. 

Statement on Religious Freedom from WSCF Europe - Lingua Franca


Interruption of the Christmas Divine Liturgy in occupied Rizokarpaso, Cyprus, the 25th of December 2010
 "The situation of Christians in the context of freedom of religion" the European parliament condemns the tragic events that took place in December in the northern part of Cyprus.

What freedom of religion involves and when it can be limited? - a quick guide to religious freedom by Swedish Mission Council
The burka debate, minaret bans, religious schools, persecution of religious minorities.Religious freedom issues increasingly end up in the headlines. Do you wonder what to think about these issues? Do you wonder what freedom of religion or belief really means? Further information about the state of religious freedom internationally together with recommendations for Swedish foreign policy and development cooperation can be found in the report "Faith, Freedom and Change: Integration Freedom of Religion and Belief into Swedish Foreign Policy", published by the Swedish Mission Council in 2009 and updated 2010.

Freedom of Common Worship for prisoners overruled by Wardens’ Union Strikes in the Belgian Prison System!
The Belgian Federal Constitution is clear about freedom of religion for inhabitants in its territory.  The present Federal Constitution reads in article 19:“Freedom of worship, its public practice and freedom to demonstrate one’s opinions on all matters are guaranteed, but offences committed when this freedom is used maybe punished”[1]
[1] www.legislationsonline.org The Belgian Constitution 

 
A Threat” or Under Threat? Legal and Social Problems of Protestants in Turkey, 2010
The Protestant Community in Turkey numbers around 3,000-3,500 persons. Most of the members of this community were formerly Muslims or atheists, though a small percentage are citizens of the Republic of Turkey who are of Armenian, Syriac or Greek descent. There are around 100 church congregations of various sizes, the vast majority of which are located in İstanbul, Ankara and İzmir. About 50 percent of these congregations are what is known as “house churches” because they worship in their homes and so are “invisible” to the society.

Church of Cyprus  
Eighty churches have been converted into mosques, 28 are being used by the Turkish army as stores and barracks, and six have been turned into museums while others are being used as cultural centres, theatres, stables, barns, workshops, hotels and, in one instance, as a mortuary. 

Statement of the Swiss Council of Religions on the referendum initiative to ban the construction of minarets.

Freedom of Expression

Anti-discrimination

Church of Norway’s commitment to the human rights of LGBT

Statement from the Church of Norway Council on Ecumenical and International Relations

The Church of England supports the broad objectives of the Equality Bill in promoting fairness in society and improving redress for those who have suffered unjust treatment.

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SOCIAL, ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL RIGHTS

Methodist Church promotes humans rights with the new investment policy

Methodist Church (UK) investment decisions are now being guided by a new policy on human rights which focuses on companies operating in areas of conflict around the world. While governments are ultimately responsible for upholding human rights, the policy recognises that companies have obligations too...

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As the Evangelical Church of Westphalia, we advocate sustainable development

• that shows that the dignity of human beings is inalienable and that the inherent value of God’s creation goes beyond its economic usability,
• that combines and integrates the ecological, economic and social dimensions of life,
• whose credibility depends on the global realization of the socio-ethical principle of granting priority to the poor, distributive justice and justice between present and future generations (pg. 28). 

Evangelische Kirche im Rheinland
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights does not limit itself to emphasising the personal rights and liberties of individuals, but has also from the beginning been a reminder of the social rights of all people in the world Community .(pg.30).


Right to Education

EGMR korrigiert Urteil: Kruzifixe in Klassenzimmern bleiben möglich, EKD newsletter, page 18 

Menschenrechtsgericht: Kruzifixe in italienischer, EPD newletter page 25

Disappointment from the Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy for the ruling by the European Court in Strasbourg. in the case Lautsi vs. Italy.
"This is a decision aiming not to fully form a "stato laico". For Protestants crucifixes do not refer to a common Italian heritage or culture, but are the legacy of a society dominated by Roman Catholic culture."

The Court on Human Rights of the European Union in Strasburg rules: “no crucifix in class”; The ruling was greeted favourably by Domenico Maselli,President of the Federation of Protestant Churches

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Rights of the Child

Joint Statement of the Archbishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and Church of Sweden regarding child poverty, Social Exclusion and children's rights.


Migration

Ein Projekt der Evangelisch-methodistischen Gemeinde in Berlin-Neukölln

Die methodistische Salemgemeinde liegt in Nord-Neukölln, einem Berliner Stadtbezirk, der von hoher Arbeitslosigkeit und einem großen Migrantenanteil geprägt ist. 52 % der Bevölkerung haben einen Migrationshintergrund. Menschen aus 160 Nationen leben hier zusammen. Besonders groß sind arabische, türkische, serbische, bosnische und polnische Bevölkerungsgruppen.


Roma

Human Rights Prayer in Romani

Roma Integration Strategies
An ecumenical contribution of European Churches and diaconal organisations to the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies  February, 2011

CCME's Recommendations for churches - Living in Community – Towards equal opportunities and overcoming discrimination (2001).

The situation of Roma in Central and Eastern Europe.

Statement from the CEC Assembly Trondheim Hearing 27 June 2003; Healing of Memories - an ongoing task - Roma and the Nordic Churches

Churches called to stand in solidarity with the Roma minority in Europe; Public Statement 21 July 2009 - 13th CEC Lyon Assembly

VULNERABLE GROUPS
Women's Rights

Lutheran World Federation

The LWF Gender Justice Policy lays out a biblically-rooted framework for the Lutheran global communion of churches to take concrete steps to implement gender justice, adapting action plans to different contextual realities.

The Leading Question? Women in leadership in churches and ecumenical organisations

Anthea Sully
Ali Green
Supported by:
Ecumenical Forum of European Christian Women
Jacqueline Stuyt Legacy Fund
Women’s Justice Group, Baptist Union of Great Britain

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Rights of the Child

Joint Statement of the Archbishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and Church of Sweden regarding child poverty, Social Exclusion and children's rights.


Migration

Ein Projekt der Evangelisch-methodistischen Gemeinde in Berlin-Neukölln

Die methodistische Salemgemeinde liegt in Nord-Neukölln, einem Berliner Stadtbezirk, der von hoher Arbeitslosigkeit und einem großen Migrantenanteil geprägt ist. 52 % der Bevölkerung haben einen Migrationshintergrund. Menschen aus 160 Nationen leben hier zusammen. Besonders groß sind arabische, türkische, serbische, bosnische und polnische Bevölkerungsgruppen.

Roma

Human Rights Prayer in Romani

Roma Integration Strategies
An ecumenical contribution of European Churches and diaconal organisations to the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies  February, 2011

CCME's Recommendations for churches - Living in Community – Towards equal opportunities and overcoming discrimination (2001).

The situation of Roma in Central and Eastern Europe.

Statement from the CEC Assembly Trondheim Hearing 27 June 2003; Healing of Memories - an ongoing task - Roma and the Nordic Churches

Churches called to stand in solidarity with the Roma minority in Europe; Public Statement 21 July 2009 - 13th CEC Lyon Assembly

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GENOCIDE


The Message of His Holiness Karekin II Catholicos of all Armenians
at the Ecumenical Requiem Service for the victims of the Armenian Genocide

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LEGAL CASES


Churches’ cases
in the European Court of Human Rights

Human Rights Card - CSC

Minimal Standards for Churches and Communities of Faith and Conviction, 21 November 2009. German, English

European churches engaging in human rights - Present challenges and training material

Pieni opas uskonnonvapauteen - A brief guide to Freedom of Religion

Liturgy Material from the Evangelical Church in Germany - International Human Rights Day 2012
Freedom of Religion - a statement
Church in Northern Cyprus
Armenian Genocide