Faith leaders call to keep EU’s religious freedom envoy

Faith leaders call to keep EU's religious freedom envoy

Faith leaders call to keep EU’s religious freedom envoy

Christian, Jewish and Muslim representatives have criticized the European Union’s decision to drop its special envoy for religious freedom. A leading Jewish figure called it “the wrong signal for Europe.”

Leading figures from Europe’s Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities have voiced concern after the European Commission decided to get rid of the EU special envoy for the promotion of religion or belief outside the bloc.

In an interview with DW, the president of the Conference of European Rabbis, Pinchas Goldschmidt, called the move “the wrong signal” at a time “in which Jews and other religious minorities are increasingly being targeted online and offline by extremists, and the free exercise of religion is being undermined.”

The post of special envoy was created by former European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in 2016 in response to calls by the European Parliament after massacres of religious minorities in Iraq and Syria by the terrorist group “Islamic State.”

In mid-June of this year, the Commission, now under the leadership of Ursula von der Leyen, announced that the position would not be retained. The tasks formerly entrusted to the envoy are to be carried out by the Commission’s vice president, Margaritis Schinas, and the EU’s special representative for human rights, Eamon Gilmore.

Source: Deutsche Welle

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