Libraries

CEC Human Rights libraries are developed as a resource for the churches of Europe on various human rights topics. The aim is to present a diversity of opinions on human rights, especially emerging from CEC Member Churches. The material in these libraries might serve as resource material for your church. Please send contributions to Mag. Elizabeta Kitanovic.

To consult a section, please click on the title.


Churches’ Approach to Human Rights

Welcome to the CEC 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 Mag. Elizabeta Kitanovic.

General

  1.  -sier vi. Resource material on antisemitism, Islamophobia, and antiziganism from the Church of Norway. Available only in Norwegian.
  2. 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.
  3. Communique from the Church of Greece on the situation in Syria
  4. Human rights: what does God require of us? Justice informed by Love. From the Church of Scotland – Church and Society Council.
  5. Sinappi, St Petersburg and Siikaniemi. The 13th, 14th and 15th theological discussions between the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland and the Russian Orthodox Church.
  6. Human Rights and Religious Faith, The Most Rev. and Rt Hon. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury.
  7. Kommuniqué des 7. Theologischen Gesprächs zwischen der Deutschen Bischofskonferenz und der Russischen Orthodoxen Kirche. Available in German only.
  8. Advancing Human Dignity through human rights and traditional values,  ECRL Moscow Declaration.
  9. Human Rights Position Paper – A Church Perspective (2010). 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.
  10. Communique (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)
  11. Outcome of the 14th Theological Discussions between Russian Orthodox Church and Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland St. Petersburg, September 18th -24th, 2008.
  12. Globalization and its Impact on Human Dignity and Human Rights by the United Methodist Church (2008)
  13. The Russian Orthodox Church’s Basic Teaching on Human Dignity, Freedom and Rights
  14. 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”

Civil and Political Rights

  1. Minimal Standards for Churches and Communities of Faith and Conviction, 21 November 2009. German, English
  2. International conference: Church and State Relations – Imperatives and Challenges – 18 to 19 October 2013, Yerevan – Armenia. Documents in Armenian. 
    1. Opening of the Conference
    2. Catholicos of All Armenians Received Participants of Conference on “Church and State Relations: Imperatives and Challenges”
    3. Close of “Church and State Relations: Imperatives and Relations” Conference

Freedom of Religion or Belief

  1. 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
  2. Конференција НЕПРОЛАЗНА ВРЕДНОСТ И ТРАЈНА АКТУЕЛНОСТ МИЛАНСКОГ ЕДИКТАУ сусрет великом јубилеју 2013. године The Edict of Milan (313-2013) A Basis for Freedom of Religion on Belief?
  3. Religious Freedom and Foreign Policy. Recommendations for Finland, Finnish Ecumenical Council publications XCIX 2013.
  4. 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.

Misuse of the Blasphemy Law and Religious Minorities in Pakistan

  1. Misuse of Blasphemy Law in Pakistan – by Naeem Shakir
  2. Report of the International Hearing Commission of the Churches on International Affairs, World Council of Churches

State Persecution of the Religious Freedoms in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

  1. A Chronological Overview of the State Persecution against the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric in the Time Period from June 2002 to July 2012
  2. 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.
  3. The Edict of Milan (313 – 2013) as basis for Freedom of Religion or Belief? – Conclusions
  4. Pieni opas uskonnonvapauteen – A brief guide to Freedom of Religion, Finnish Ecumenical Council.
  5. The legal personality of religious communities in European countries by the Greek Evangelical Church. Available in Greek only.
  6. Quaker United Nations Office November 2011 International Standards on Conscientious Objection to Military Service by Rachel Brett

Freedom of Religion or Belief

  1. 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.
  2. Fundamental Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief. In German. Dr Peter Krömer
  3. 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.
  4. Statement on Religious Freedom from WSCF Europe – Lingua Franca
  5. Interruption of the Christmas Divine Liturgy in occupied Rizokarpaso, Cyprus, the 25th of December 2010
  6. 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.
  7. 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”
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Statement of the Swiss Council of Religions on the referendum initiative to ban the construction of minarets.

Anti-discrimination

  1. Church of Norway’s commitment to the human rights of LGBT Statement from the Church of Norway Council on Ecumenical and International Relations
  2. 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.

Social, economic, and cultural rights

  1. Methodist Church promotes humans rights with the new investment policyMethodist 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. 
  2. 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).
  3. The Evangelical Church of Westphalia, we advocate sustainable development
    1. that shows that the dignity of human beings is inalienable and that the inherent value of God’s creation goes beyond its economic usability,
    2. that combines and integrates the ecological, economic and social dimensions of life,
    3. 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).

Right to Education

  1. EGMR korrigiert Urteil: Kruzifixe in Klassenzimmern bleiben möglich, EKD newsletter, page 18
  2. Menschenrechtsgericht: Kruzifixe in italienischer, EPD newletter page 25
  3. 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.”
  4. The Court on Human Rights of the European Union in Strasbourg rules: “no crucifix in class”; The ruling was greeted favourably by Domenico Maselli,President of the Federation of Protestant Churches

Rights of the Child

  1. 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

See also the website for the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (www.ccme.be)

  1. 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

  1. Human Rights Prayer in Romani
  2. Roma Integration Strategies An ecumenical contribution of European Churches and diaconal organisations to the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies  February, 2011
  3. CCME’s Recommendations for churches – Living in Community – Towards equal opportunities and overcoming discrimination (2001).
  4. Statement from the CEC Assembly Trondheim Hearing 27 June 2003; Healing of Memories – an ongoing task – Roma and the Nordic Churches
  5. 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

  1. Lutheran World Federation
  2. 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.
  3. The Leading Question? Women in leadership in churches and ecumenical organisations. By 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
  4. Mistreatment of women and Procedures for dealing with sexual Mistreatment (Official resolutions and reports from the Church of Norway 1990-1999)

Rights of the Child

  1. 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

See also the website for the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (www.ccme.be)

  1. 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

  1. Human Rights Prayer in Romani
  2. Roma Integration Strategies An ecumenical contribution of European Churches and diaconal organisations to the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies  February, 2011
  3. CCME’s Recommendations for churches – Living in Community – Towards equal opportunities and overcoming discrimination (2001).
  4. Statement from the CEC Assembly Trondheim Hearing 27 June 2003; Healing of Memories – an ongoing task – Roma and the Nordic Churches
  5. Churches called to stand in solidarity with the Roma minority in Europe; Public Statement 21 July 2009 – 13th CEC Lyon Assembly

Genocide

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

Legal Cases

  1. Churches’ cases in the European Court of Human Rights