“A commitment to political action”

Worldwide, the human right of religious freedom is being increasingly restricted. For the Stephanuskreis, which deals with the ie of persecution of Christians in the Union parliamentary group, a mandate to act.

The German government’s second report on the global situation of religious freedom notes the worldwide trend toward increased restrictions on the human right to freedom of religion or belief. The combination of country reports and intersectoral topics (blasphemy and anti-conversion laws, digital communication, and state education programs) does justice to the complexity of the ie. As chairman of the Stephanuskreis, CDU member of the Bundestag Heribert Hirte comments on the report:

"The report shows how complex the ies of religious freedom and thus also the persecution of religious minorities are, just also how topical and modern. The impairment, but also the promotion, of the individual human right of religious freedom always influences other human rights as well. In particular, the section on digital communication and the influence of online hate speech reflects the accounts that persecuted people from various countries around the world have given us in the Stephanus Circle. Religious freedom is a timeless as well as topical ie that affects societies worldwide and thus also plays out in the digital spaces of our time.

Digital communication shapes our present. It has an effect on civil liberties – for better or for worse. The Religious Freedom Report highlights challenges and potentials in equal measure. The substantive and systematic development of the second report also proves that we will need a third report. First, so that we as a parliament can critically review the work of the federal government in this area. On the other hand, however, in order to give appropriate recognition to the efforts made in this area.

In the area of digital communication, the trend toward "messengerization" is essential to consider in the future. Disinformation, agitation and hate speech are increasingly taking place in closed rooms, currently particularly observable in the application Telegramm. The report shows self-critically the developments that led to the anti-Semitic attack in Halle. The Hanau attack, motivated by hatred of Muslims, would also be worth mentioning here. Incidentally, it is correct that the report identifies structural problems in Germany as well. At the same time, it also painfully demonstrates the challenges that lie ahead for a value-driven European foreign policy. The structural disregard for human rights in China alone will be a Herculean task for the international community of states. The federal government’s report is an essential contribution to naming such misconduct and committing itself to political action."

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