Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Personal message: 2013 a Year of Changes

There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. (..), always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.(..). But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone. You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance” (2 Timothy 3: 1-10)


The year 2013 is almost finished. The year is characterized by changes. One of the most important changes I saw this year was a growing public awareness of the general public concerning the importance of protecting basic Christian-Democratic values like human dignity (protecting life from conception to natural death), family (based on a marriage as a union between a man and a woman), freedom (of expression, religion and conscience) and democracy (respecting not only the democratic rules but also the spirit of democracy like open debates, respecting diversity and different world-views).  

Monday, December 23, 2013


Discussions about the need for a new Christian Paradigm at the ECPM Conference: "The Impact of Christian Thinking: Past, Present and Future"


Europe is still seen as having a Christian heritage that weights heavy on its citizen’s way of thinking and acting. In politics, some decades ago, we could hear great politicians speaking out from their Christian beliefs without fear of being politically incorrect. Their actions were inspired by their faith. They believed that the Christian values were beneficial in the public life not only in private. 

However, in the 21st century the deafening voice is that the Christian values are to be followed in the private life. This ubiquitous view destroys the foundation that created the European Union in the first place and on the 3rd of December ECPM organized a conference in which this issue was approached, entitled “The impact of Christian thinking on European project: Past, Present and Future”. Main aim is to reflect to the origins of the European project and how Christian faith and values played a role at the European founding fathers. In the afternoon session we build further on these examples we ask ourselves if we need a new Christian paradigm it's current politics in Europe. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Private Papal Audience to celebrate the Dignitatis Humanae Institute's Institute.

On December 8th I was invited to the fifth aniversary of the Foundation of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute (DHI). The DHI has as main aim to promote the Universal Declaration of Human Dignity. In this declaration the fact that we are created in the image and likeness of God, therefore life is sacred and should be protected from conception to natural death. The fifth anniversary was marked by a private audience with His Holiness Pope Francisc. Please find here the press release of the DHI

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Estrela report rejected: Massive popular protest wins over well-funded lobby groups at the European Parliament

After a months-long intense debate about the ‘Report on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights’ (also called the Estrela report), a symbolic fight has been won today for democracy, for children, and for life. A majority of the European Parliament have just rejected the highly controversial report (with 334 votes in favour, 327 against and 35 abstentions). This is a historic setback for the abortion lobby and all their related stakeholders, as they have well-oiled machineries, huge EU-funded budgets and, therefore, great power of impact in political agenda setting. (Source European Dignity Watch)

Estrela Report back in the Parliament:How Interests of International Lobbyists, Ideological Agendas become more important than Democracy, Human Rights and Freedom

On October 22, the majority of the European Parliament voted to refer back the controversial Report on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (also called the Estrela report) back to the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM Committee).

The reason behind the referral was that the text as presented at that time was considered to be unacceptable and revision was recommended in order to seek consensus among political groups. Surprisingly, however, the Estrela report is back again on the agenda of the plenary session in the European Parliament, with just some minor changes.

Not only were the serious concerns expressed by the democratic majority of the Parliament rejected by the supporters of the Report, but the Chair of the FEMM Committee breached the Rules of Procedures to avoid any amendments being tabled in the Committee and before the plenary vote.
 
Who is ruling in Europe? The ideological agenda of certain Pro-Choice movements, supported by the interests of international lobby organizations; or the supporters of the protection of Human Rights and Dignity, Freedom and Democracy (trying to protect doctors, medical staff, hospitals, parents and children)?
 
The vote that will take place in the European Parliament today is therefore most of all a test of how strong or weak democracy is in the decision-making process within the European Parliament.  Please find here an analysis

Monday, December 2, 2013

Ukraine: ECPM deeply concerned over the exessive use of force against the demonstrators in Kiev

The European Christian Political Movement (ECPM) is deeply concerned over the recent developments in Kiev, condemns what clearly seems to be the excessive use of force against the peaceful demonstration and calls on the Ukrainian Government to respect the will, human dignity and fundamental rights of the Ukrainian people.

"Many Ukrainians, who took to streets to protest against the reversal of President Viktor Yanukovych on the Ukraine-EU Association Agreement, showed their strong support for their country's closer relations with the European Union. It is the right of people everywhere to express their views in a democratic way. Therefore, the Ukrainian government should refrain from violence and use of force and resolve political differences in accordance with the constitutional and democratic norms", George Rukhadze, the ECPM Vice-President said.

The European Christian Political Movement also condemns the pressure from Moscow on the Ukrainian government which prevented Kiev from signing the Association Agreement and believes that the Ukraine's future should be decided by the Ukrainian government in accordance with the will of their people and no other country has a right to veto their decisions.

The ECPM has always supported Ukraine's European choice by closely working with the CDU Ukraine and other civil organizations to promote Christian values, democracy and political pluralism in the country and will continue to do so in the future.

Croatia: Overwhelming majority votes for constitutional recognition of natural marriage

On December 1, the people of Croatia voted in favour of the natural marriage. The outcome of the referendum in Croatia is clear: 65.8% of voters chose to preserve marriage as a union of a woman and a man, by asking their government to recognize this as such in the Croatian constitution, while 33,5% voted against. The referendum was called for by the Croatian Citizen initiative "In the Name of the Family" by collecting more than 700,000 signatures.

On the 27th of November, the European Christian Political Foundation (ECPF) co-hosted a roundtable on this referendum in the Croatian Parliament. Maria Hildingsson (FAFCE) and Heiner Studer (President EVP, former MP Switzerland) addressed Croatian MP’s with their views on marriage (Hildingsson) and referenda (Studer).

We are pleased with the choice of the majority of Croatian citizens and urges the Croatian government to facilitate this clear wish of the population as soon as possible. Please find below the press release of European Dignity Watch with more information about the referendum

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

INVITATION


INVITATION CONFERENCE ABOUT THE IMPACT OF CHRISTIAN THINKING ON THE EUROPEAN PROJECT, EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, 3 DECEMBER

There is no doubt that Christianity had a great impact on the start of European cooperation in the 20th centrury. The European project was initiated by founding fathers who, inspired by the Christian faith, had a vision to promote peace and reconciliation in Europe. To what extent is the European Union, more than half a century later, still driven by this vision? And what are the contemporary currents for a new Christian paradigm in an age of social and economic confusion? 

The European Christian Political Movement warmly invites you to
"The Impact of Christian Thinking on the European Project: Past, Present & Future"

European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium, 3 December 13:30-17:00 hrs

==============================================================

Agenda:

13:30-15:00 Founding Fathers: How Christian inspiration led to peace and reconciliation in a war-torn continent (Room: ASP 5G3) (Host: Peter van Dalen, MEP)

Speakers:
  • Margriet Krijtenburg (on behalf of the Schuman Centre for European Studies)
  • Dr. Giuseppe Zorzi (Director of the Foundazione Trenting Alcide De Gasperi)
  • Miguel Ángel Martín Ramos  (Board member of the Jean Monnet Association)
  • Antoinette Spaak (Former MEP, Fondation Paul-Henri Spaak)  tbc

15:30-17:00 Contemporary Currents: The Need for a new Christian inspired Paradigm in an Age of Social and Economic Confusion (Room: PHS 1C 047)
(Host: Ewald Stadler MEP)

Topics and Speakers:
  • Relational Thinking as a New Christian-inspired Paradigm: Jonathan Tame (Director Jubilee Centre
  • Human Dignity and the Fight against Human Trafficking: Sari Essayah (Member of European Parliament)
  • Christian Paradigm and Human Rights Valeriu Ghileţchi (MP, Moldova and member of Legal Affairs & Human Rights and first Vice President of the Committee of Social, Health and Sustainable Development of the Council of Europe)
  • Christian Inspiration as a Business Paradigm Peter Briscoe (Vice-President and Founder of Europartners)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Scandalous Estrela Report put back on the Agenda: Will special interests defeat Democracy and Freedom?

The scandalous Estrela Report on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights is back on the agenda! After heated debate, it was referred back to the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) by the october plenary session of the European Parliament. The report will be discussed in the second round in the FEMM Committee tomorrow, 26th of November. The Committee will vote on the report again, a necessary step for it to get in back to the plenary.

The proponents of this radical anti-freedom and anti-life report are very nervous: No debate will be allowed, no new amendments will be allowed to be tabled and the existing tabled alternative resolution, which was a good, non-ideological text, is completely banned from the agenda.

This means that the content of the report will be changed in cosmetic details at best, which means that MEPs will be asked to vote on the same toxic report which they referred back to the committee, because it was not acceptable to the majority of the house.

Source: European Dignity Watch

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

“An EU Roadmap against homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity” – a European Parliament report likely to divide the EU

A couple of months ahead of the European Elections, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) of the European Parliament prepares a report that is likely to meet very diverging opinions across the EU as it clearly oversteps the competencies of the EU and thereby tramples on the principle of subsidiarity.
 
Austrian MEP Ulrike Lunacek, Vice President of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, is the rapporteur of a report on the EU Roadmap against homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity”. The title sounds familiar as it recalls the name of a study published by the European Parliament in 2012, with the contribution of the European LGBTI lobby ILGA Europe, called “Towards an EU roadmap for equality on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity”.

(Source: Federation of Catholic Family Associations in Europe, FAFCE) 
 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Controversial report wants to undermine the "One of Us" Initiative. Urgent action needed!

The European Citizenship Initiative “One of Us” has now reached already 1,3 Mio signatures in Europe and fulfils all criteria to be considered by the European Commission (www.oneofus.eu). 

In a recent attempt to neutralize One of Us before it gets submitted in November, a Report is due to be voted at in the European Parliament next Monday. Below you find some significant quotes from this document presented by the Portuguese socialist MEP Ms. Estrela. 

This report promotes abortion as a fundamental right, attacks the right to conscientious objection and the rights of parents and calls on the European Union to fund abortion in its Foreign and Development Aid Policy. This text wants more abortions and less rights for conscientious objectors and parents, it recommends nothing in relation to the prevention of abortion or support for pregnant women. It is a striking example of old-style feminism and has nothing to do with modern politics in which space for life and all people, including children, must be sought. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

Speakers at the Catholic Conference “European Encounters” assaulted by activists

From 11 till 13 October, I participated in the “European Encounters” conference that took place in Brussels. This conference had as main target to equip young Catholic Christians to implement their faith in their daily life and profession. 

On the Friday evening, the opening took place with H.E. Msg. André Joseph Léonard, Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, Father Nicholas Buttet, founder of “Eucharistein” and Christine Boutin, Founder of the Parti Chrétien-Démocrate and Former Minister of Urban Affairs. 

When Christine Boutin started her speech about the Soul of Europe, suddenly a group topless feminist-gay activists with a big rainbow flag ran in front to the members of the panel and wrapped the flag around Ms. Boutin and kissed her on her head and cheeks. Other members of the group sprayed whipped cream on the faces of the Archbishop and on Father Nicholas. 

Fortunately, people came to remove these protesters from the podium. After a break where the mess was cleaned and the panel members could take a breather, Christine Boutin continued her presentation about the basic European values of solidarity and peace.   

Read here my article

Thursday, October 10, 2013

"One of Us" Initiative seriously undermined by an intiative report on Sexual and Reproductive Rights

The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) "One of Us" to protect and respect the dignity and integrity of the human embryo is seriously undermined by the opposition who is working on its counter-offensive by an own initiative report  on sexual and reproductive rights. It has already been adopted by the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality on September 18. Rapporteur Edite Estrela — a member of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats group in the European Parliament — argued strongly in favour of legalizing abortion in all European Member States with no consideration for the fundamental rights to life and conscience recognized by the EU. 

This issue should be taken very seriously and we should do our utmost to put this under the attention in media and MEPs. The aim of this own-initiative report is to neutralise the ECI by a "zero sum game" where nobody really wins. If this resolution passes in Plenary, the EU institutions have an alibi to avoid any further action on the ECI. The vote for a resolution is expected to be at 22 October.

The pro-abortion lobby is very clear on this issue and the motion for a resolution will include the following statements:
  • "whereas access to safe abortion is banned, except in very narrow circumstances, in three EU Member States (Ireland, Malta and Poland) and remains widely unavailable, through legal, through the abuse of conscientious objection or overly restrictive interpretations of existing limits;
  • recommends that, as a human rights concern, abortion should be made legal, safe, and accessible for all
  • Underlines that even when legal, abortion is often prevented or delayed by obstacles to the access of appropriate services, such as the widespread use of conscientious objection, medically unnecessary waiting periods or biased counselling; stresses that Member States should regulate and monitor the use of conscientious objection so as to ensure that reproductive health care is guaranteed as an individual’s right, while access to lawful services is ensured and appropriate and affordable referrals systems are in place;
The final report as adopted in the committee will be released on Tuesday 15 October. The vote is to be expected on 22 October in the European Parliament

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

European Court of Human Rights: The Grand Chamber to rule on a right to assisted suicide

STRASBOURG, France — The Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights has agreed to hear an appeal in a lawsuit filed against the Swiss government after authorities there would not provide a woman who does not suffer from any fatal disease with drugs to commit suicide. An ECHR panel ruled 4-3 in May of this year that Switzerland’s law banning lethal poison in such circumstances violates Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (right to respect for private and family life) because the court considered the law vague.

“The government has an obligation to protect life, not facilitate death,” said Legal Counsel Paul Coleman. “Claims to personal autonomy do not override national laws designed to protect the weak and vulnerable. We trust the Grand Chamber will support this principle, which is entirely consistent with the European Convention on Human Rights.”

Friday, October 4, 2013

ECPM calls on MEP’s to vote for amendments on an important EP report on Gendercide

On 8 October, the European Parliament will vote on the important report: "Gendercide: the missing women" of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality" by rapporteur: Antigoni Papadopoulou. Gendercide is a global issue of concern everywhere pregnant women, on purpose or under pressure, decide not to give birth to girl foetuses.

 Read here a study of the European Parliament on "Gendercide: Missing Women"

Although the Papadopoulou report has many positive aspects, five important amendments were tabled by Anna Záborská, Christa Klaß, Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio, Gay Mitchell, José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, Peter van Dalen and 82 other MEP’s. The five amendments give a clearer stance on the ‘human right to conscientious objection’ and one of the amendments explicitly recalls the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, whereby every child, regardless of sex, has the right to appropriate legal protection before as well as after birth.’’

The five amendments are a much needed addition to the Papadopoulou report and therefore ECPM calls on all MEP’s to support these amendments

Friday, September 13, 2013

"One of Us" reaches 1 Million signatures to demand the EU to ensure the “full protection of the human being as the first and fundamental right in the society”.

The European Citizen’s Initiative (ECI) “One of us” has announced today that is has reached the necessary signatures to be introduced as an official petition to the European Commission. The collection of signatures will go on until October 31st.

This ECI, which requires support by at least one million EU citizens from a minimum of 7 EU member states, is an official invitation to the European Commission to introduce a legislative change to suspend EU-funding of embryonic stem cell research.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Register now for the Romanian Prayer Breakfast and the international conference on Human Dignity

On 25 – 27 September, the Ecumenical Romanian Parliamentary Prayer Group organized in collaboration with the European Christian Political Foundation the 8th Romanian Prayer Breakfast followed by an international conference on Human Dignity. The Romanian Prayer Breakfast will be hosted by the President of the Chamber of Deputies of the Romanian Parliament, Mr. Valeriu Ştefan Zgonea. 

After the international conference, also parallel sessions will be organized focused on pro-life and the integration of people with disabilities in Romania and to mark the launch of the Romanian Chapter of the World Youth Alliance. For our international guests a special session will be organized where the Universal Declaration for Human Dignity will be discussed. 


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Pope Francisc urges Christians to become active in Politics

Last month's papal audience in the Paul IV Hall with students, teachers and staff of the Jesuit gradeschools and high schools on Friday, turned out to be a friendly dialogue between the 76-year-old pontiff and the young people.

In a style that seems to have become almost signature of the current pontificate, Pope Francis stepped out of yet another scripted session to engage in a spontaneous question-and-answer period with hundreds of children and teens. The Vatican radio made a report about this special meeting, which you find here

When a teacher asked him about the role of Catholics in politics, Pope Francisc shared his important vision on why and how a Christian should become involved in politics. He said that participation in politics is a Christian obligation

“We, Christians, cannot ‘play Pilate’ and wash our hands. We cannot,” he said.
“We must participate in politics because politics is one of the highest forms of charity because it seeks the common good. And Christian lay people must work in politics.”

“It is not easy; politics has become too tainted. But I ask myself: Why has it become tainted? Because Christians have not participated in politics with an evangelical spirit? … To work for the common good is a Christian duty, and many times the way in which to work towards it is through politics.”

(Source Vatican Radio)

Saturday, June 22, 2013

ECPM calls on EU member-states to respect the fundamental freedoms of conscience, faith and speech

ECPM calls on EU member-states to respect the fundamental freedoms of conscience, faith and speech against the growing trend of imposed ideology. ECPM: ,,The EU Charter of fundamental rights should be respected by its governments”

Friday, June 21, 2013

Despite Pressure, 20% of Croatian Voting Population (750,000 people) Request Referendum to Define Marriage as a Union between a Man and a Woman

”Do you think that the Constitution should define marriage as a union between a woman and a man?” was the question that within 15 days gained about 20% of voting population′s support, or exactly: 749.316 signatures. Although this should be more than enough to legally call for a national referendum, this action faced a lot of pressure from different sides.

Please read here an article written by Slavko Vukmanov, member of the Croatian political party HRAST and his personal impressions about the actions and pressure they faced:

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Conference: "Squeezed between European and National Order: Is there Room for Christianity", in the Vatican City State, Friday, 28 June 2013.

 On Friday, 28 June 2013, the 2nd International Conference on Human Dignity, which this year will be held at the home of the Pontifical Academy for Social Sciences, at the Casina Pio IV, in the serene grounds of the Vatican City State. If you are interested, you can register you can register here

The title of the Conference, which is being generously supported by the ECPM and the Novae Terrae Foundation, is: “Squeezed between European and national legal orders: Is there room for Christianity?”
 

The conference programme you can find The conference programme you can find here  It is important to note, because of the security demands regarding the venue, all participants must register in advance. We are expecting an important attendance with politicians, NGOs, clergy and academics from all over Europe already confirmed.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Apply now for the ECPYN's 10th Summer School about Sustainability (1-5 July 2013)

The 10th Summer School is about Sustainability
The European Christian Political Youth Network (ECPYN) will host its 10th International Summer School in Finland in July. The topic for the five-day Summer School is ”A Christian approach to Sustainable Development”. The event will take place from the 1st to the 5th of July 2013 at Conference Hotel Sofia (Kallvikintie 28) in Helsinki.  

You can apply for the Summer School here

The Summer School offers the participants a great opportunity to learn more about Christian Democratic politics, discuss sustainable development and meet other young like-minded people from all over Europe. All this in the middle of the Finnish nature by the sea, yet close to Helsinki city centre.

European Court to consider UK Christian freedom cases tomorrow (Monday 25 May 2013)





A panel of five judges at the European Court of Human Rights will tomorrow (Monday 27th May) consider whether the cases of Shirley Chaplin and Gary McFarlane should be heard by the Grand Chamber of the Court.

These cases are very significant for the future of Christian freedoms in the UK and across the Council of Europe area (c. 800 million citizens). In a press release, Christian Concern (defending these cases) asks people to pray that the Judges refer the cases to the Grand Chamber. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Large Number of reported Cases on Intolerance and Legal Restrictions effecting Christians in Europe

The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians releases 41 examples of national laws with adverse effects on Christians in more than 15 European Countries. Additionally, 169 cases of intolerance against Christians in the EU – area in 2012 are portrayed.
The report was presented on May 21 at an OSCE High Level Conference on Tolerance and Non-discrimination held in Tirana, Albania, in a keynote speech delivered by the Observatory’s director Dr. Gudrun Kugler.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Critical review on the EU-Survey on Hate Crimes and Discrimination against LGTB people in Europe

On the 17th of May (on International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia), the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) presented the results of the largest LGTB survey ever on experiences of hate crime and discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGTB) people during a conference hosted by the Dutch Government in The Hague. In this (370,000 Euros-taxpayer-Euro) report, the shocking claim has been made that a quarter of the 93.000 LGBT people that answered the questionnaire said that they had become victims of physical violence in the past and claimed that this is the largest LGTB survey ever on Hate Crimes and Discrimination. With pride this report was presented and even new Queen Maxima of the Netherlands participated at the opening.  

However, if you look carefully to the report and the procedures how these results were obtained, then serious questions raise about the credibility of both this report and their results. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Register now for the 2nd International Conference on Human Diginty in Rome, 27-29 June










Please reserve 27-29 June 2013 in your agenda for the 2nd international conference in Rome, following the success of last year's inaugural conference on "The Role of Christians in the Public Square". Further details to follow on their website.

Register here

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Mass demonstrations to preserve marriage are continuing in spite of pressure

In spite of pressure, mass demonstrations to preserve marriage are continuing. A new massive demonstration took place on Sunday in Paris, France, against the legislative proposal to legalize marriage and adoption for same-sex couples. While official police statements spoke of an estimated 300,000 protesters, the organizers said that some 1.4 million people took part in the demonstration. Even though the media try to frame the demonstrations in negative ways and the police (under the French Ministry of Internal Affairs) tries to forge the real number of protestors, the French people are determined that the institute of marriage and the children’s rights need to remain protected.

(Article by Leo van Doesburg and Jonathan van Tongeren)


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Personal message: Easter - When God’s Love Surpassed His Justice


He took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by Him, and afflicted. But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by His wounds we are healed.

(Isaiah 53: 4-5)



Dear Friends,    

Easter is always a special time of reflection when we are remembering that our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ suffered and died on the Cross to save us from our bad deeds and thoughts, from our sin. It is there on the Cross that God’s Love for us surpassed His justice, in that God gave “His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through Him” (John 3:16,17). 

We are also asked to act based on justice and love. As followers of Jesus we should strive for justice and not compromise ourselves, even when we will have to suffer. We have to stand up for dignity, for social and public justice based on our Love for God and for the neighbour, to serve the other and our society. 

But Jesus’s death on the cross was not the end of the story. Christ has risen again also showing the victory of Love over evil and death. It is a message of redemption and of reconciliation with God. This faith should give us hope, vision and a whole new and real perspective of life and a sense of living.  

I wish you a Blessed Easter

Thursday, January 24, 2013

How the Council of Europe is imposing abortion on Ireland and Poland


How can a country, that refused abortion three times by referendums, be pressured to legalize it in the name of a Convention which does not enshrine a right to abortion?


In Europe, Ireland is a symbol of resistance against abortion.  Nevertheless, Ireland is on the point of giving in to the concerted pressure of the Council of Europe and the pro-abortion lobbies. Irish people have always been firmly opposed to abortion.   Since the 1980s, they have rejected the legalization of abortion three times, while affording equal constitutional protection to the life of the unborn child and that of the mother.  Abortion is therefore always prohibited, except when doctors consider it necessary to save the life of the mother. 

However, the Council of Europe is at the heart of a campaign aiming to impose abortion ‘from the top’ onto people who refused it ‘from the bottom’ three times, by referendums in 1983, 1992 and 2002.


(Article by: Grégor Puppinck. PhD, Director of the European Centre for Law and Justice)

Pro-life Rally in Dublin attracks over 25,000 people

Last Saturday, 19 January, over 25,000 people participated to a pro-life rally that was organized in Dublin. The Vigil For Life event was called to highlight opposition to a change on abortion legislation as the Irish government considers reform. It is encouraging to see how professionally and well this rally has been organized. Also a counter demonstration of pro-choice activists was organized on the same date where just around 200 people participated.  


Read here an article from the Irish Central

See here a small movieclip about the Rally


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Concerns about the verdict of the European Court of Human Rights today: Christian employees in the UK seen as a second class category

Today the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) gave its verdict on four vital Christian freedom cases. See more information about the cases in a previous post on my blog here. This Section’s ruling gives a free licence to discriminate Christians at workplace by submitting them to “obsessive political correctness”. Therefore there is a serious concern about the protection of freedom of conscience & religion in the future. Unfortunately this is again an example about the seemingly increasing concern for Religious Freedoms and the growing intolerance against Christians in Europe, which we analyzed here this week. 

Please find below an analysis of Grégor Puppinck, PhD, Director of the European Center of Law and Justice about the case and the verdict today

Monday, January 14, 2013

Hundreds of Thousands Marched against the Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage & Adoption

Hundreds of thousands of people have participated in the massive demonstrations that took place in Paris yesterday against the legalization of same-sex marriage & adoption. Organizers of the manifestation have estimated that around 800.000 people were gathered to ask for the withdrawal of the draft bill and the initiation of a open public debate on the issue. In spite of this demonstration being considered one of the largest in years, however, the French government refuses to take protesters' requests into consideration, has no intention of organizing a referendum and is determined to go ahead with marriage reform in spite of massive opposition. More about the background of the demonstrations you find here
--

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Increasing International concern for Religious Freedoms and the growing intolerance against Christians in Europe: an analysis

Increasing international concern has been voiced throughout the last few years regarding the growing religious discrimination against Christians within EU borders and beyond. A few cases from the UK, however, have become the center of attention as their appeal against the UK government has reached the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Please find below an analysis about the increasing international concern for religious freedoms and the growing intolerance in Europe. This article is made by my colleage Eunice Vatran-Dugulescu

Saturday, January 12, 2013

13 January: Enormous demonstration expected in Paris as an urgent appeal for the protection of the traditional family and the rights for children


A law proposal on “marriage for all” (mariage pour tous) is due to go before Parliament for debate by the end of this month. The legalization of gay marriage was a campaign promise by socialist President François Hollande.  

However this proposal seems not to have the approval of the majority of the French population. Only in the last three months, 100,000s of people from all across France have participated in several unprecedented manifestations to oppose this bill with determination, because this proposed law would mean a profound change of the nature of Marriage, Adoption and Filiation and has been promoted as "creating access to parenthood for same sex couples through the "mechanism" of adoption.

On the 13th of January the first national massive demonstration will take place in Paris, where (according to the French media) several hundred thousands people are expected to be gathered. 

(article written by Eunice Vatran, adapted by Leo van Doesburg, Based on the sources of the European Federation of Catholic Family Associations: FAFCE)

Friday, January 11, 2013

ECHR to issue Verdict on Vital Christian Freedom Cases

Increasing international concern has been voiced throughout the last few years regarding the growing religious discrimination against Christians within EU borders and beyond. ECPM has been closely following the developments in such instances and has actively participated in drawing attention to these issues. A few cases from the UK, however, have become the center of attention as their appeal against the UK government has reached the European Court of Human Rights. 
 
Judgment in the cases of four UK Christians will be handed down at the ECHR in Strasbourg on Tuesday 15th January 2013 at 09:00 UK time (10:00 Central European Time). 

Based on Update from the Christian Legal Center