ACN calls on MEPs to stand up for oppressed faiths

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Aid to the Church in Need (ACN)’s Religious Freedom in the World Report 2014 has been presented to the European Parliament in Brussels, amid calls for politicians to do more to protect oppressed Christians around the globe.

The report’s chairman, Peter Sefton-Williams, urged policymakers “to call on religious leaders to speak together against religiously-inspired violence.”

As well as giving the key-note speech for this two-day seminar, hosted by the European People’s Party, ACN arranged for four witnesses to take part in the event.

Bishop Stephen Dami Mamza of Yola, Nigeria, Sister Hanan Youssef of Lebanon, Mrs Dina Raouf Khalil of Egypt and Dr Paul Bhatti of Pakistan each described their own experiences of

Bishop Mamza’s diocese supplies food for 60,000 refugees in eastern Nigeria and gives shelter to 10,000 victims of terrorist aggression. He said: “Boko Haram is only looking for power.

They say it is like ancient Islam but even local imams say Islam has never been such a heartless religion.”

Pakistan’s Dr Paul Bhatti added: “The Taliban inspires the hate speech of many imams in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India and the lack of education makes it difficult to protect the young from this kind of fundamentalism.”

The speakers highlighted the fact that religious persecution is generating unprecedented waves of migration and required strong political action to combat it.

Aid to the Church in Need (ACN)