Human Rights are a significant focus for international organisations such as the European Union, Council of Europe, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and United Nations.
CEC Member Churches advocate for the promotion and protection of human rights at the highest standards inside Europe and beyond its borders.
We monitor and advocate for the implementation of civil and political rights, as well as social, economic and cultural rights vis-à-vis International Organisations and European Institutions. We devote attention to a number of specific issues including freedom of religion or belief, anti-discrimination legislation, and developing resources for training and human rights education.Two recent consultations freedom of religion or belief and religious minorities in culturally diverse societies have produced statements on these topics.
- Communique from conference on “Towards Peaceful co-existence in the Middle East: challenges and opportunities”, 2018
- Communiqué on the legal status und protection of ‘places of worship’ and ‘holy sites’ 2017
- Endorsement of the CEC Governing Board of the Final Communiqué on the Issue of the Places of Worship and Holy Sites in Europe and the Middle East, 2017
- Communique of the consultation on Religious Minorities as Part of Culturally Diverse Societies, Zagreb, 21 and 22 October 2016
- Statement of the consultation on Advancing Freedom of Religion or Belief for All, Halki Theological School, 7 to 9 September, 2015
Following are speeches from 2018 CEC debate on 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights & European Parliament seminar in the framework of Article 17
- Metropolitan Porfirije of Zagreb and Ljubljana of the Serbian Orthodox Church
- Bishop Porfyrios of Neapolis of the Church of Cyprus
- Rev. Dr Daniel Topalski of the United Methodist Church in Bulgaria and Romania
Let us work together for creation of a human rights culture!
For more information on these issues please contact Dr. Elizabeta Kitanovic.
10 Nov, 2015
On 10 November religious and political representatives gathered at the European Parliament to discuss religious freedom in the Republic of Cyprus. The well-attended seminar was held at the invitation of Dr Eleni Theocharous MEP in cooperation with the Representation of the Church of Cyprus to the European Institutions and the Conference of European Churches.
10 Sep, 2015
From September 7 to 9 more than 40 human rights experts from across Europe journeyed to the hilltop theological school of Halki on the Turkish island of Heybeliada. Once the heart of theological education for the Orthodox world, the school closed in 1971 as a result of a ban on private higher education in Turkey. Arriving by plane, train, and even by foot, participants discussed and debated approaches to advancing freedom of religion or belief.
6 Sep, 2015
From 6 to 9 September, senior religious leaders, representatives from the European Commission, and scholars will gather in Halki and Istanbul for a conference on freedom of religion or belief. More than 40 human rights experts from CEC Member Churches are expected to attend.
25 May, 2015
The Summer School on Human Rights took place from 25 to 29 May in Hagaberg, Sweden. The project was organised by the Conference of European Churches in collaboration with hosts Church of Sweden and Uniting Church in Sweden.
8 Dec, 2014
In advance of observance of International Human Rights Day on 10 December, the Governing Board of the Conference of European Churches has adopted this statement on the persecution of religious minorities in the Middle East. What follows is a call for an end to the violence, increased humanitarian aid, and increased international support for persecuted and displaced persons.
17 Nov, 2014
Training on Freedom of Religion or Belief took place from 12-15 November in Elstal, Germany. The training was hosted by the Union of Free churches in Germany, organized by the European Baptist Federation (EBF) and the Church and Society Commission of the Conference of European Churches (CEC).
12 Nov, 2014
Training on Human Rights and Freedom of Religion or Belief for All, in cooperation with the European Baptist Federation, the Union of Evangelical Free churches in Germany & the Church and Society Commission of CEC will take place from 12 to15 November 2014, Elstal (near Berlin), Germany.
19 Sep, 2014
The Conference of European Churches launched the project of the Summer School on Human Rights devoted to the topic of Freedom of Religion or Belief from 15-18 September in Palermo, Italy. It was hosted by Italian Protestant Federation with academic support by KU Leuven.
18 Sep, 2014
Restrictions of freedom of religion or belief are an increasing challenge to the global world and to Europe in particular. The Summer School on Human Rights, hosted by the Italian Protestant Federation on 15-18 September in Palermo, Italy, is an unprecedented response. For the first time, European Churches join forces in order to designate a school on human rights and in particular to freedom of religion or belief.
5 Sep, 2014
CEC hosted a Summer School on Human Rights from 15 to 18 September, 2014 in Palermo (Italy) on theology and human rights. Below are some documents from the event. “Theology and Human Rights – Freedom of Religion or Belief for All” 15 – 18 September 2014, Palermo – Italy Press Release Programme Day I – Theology, Law and Human Rights Freedom of Religion or Belief Freedom of Religion and Belief: the Legal Challenge by Prof Dr Marco Ventura, KU Leuven – Belgium The Legal Challenge to Ensuring Freedom of Religion and Belief in Europe by Dr Merilin Kiviorg, Senior Researcher in Public Law, University of Tartu, Faculty of Law – Estonia Day II – Theology, Politics and Human Rights Hidden Aspirations – Legal Analysis of a Document of the Government of Montenegro by Mr Damjan Culafic, Serbian Orthodoc Church – Montenegro Politisation and Instrumentalisation of Human Rights/Freedom of Religion or Belief by Dr. Pasquale Annicchino, PhD, LL M Fellow Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies European University Institute