Commitment to Freedom of Religion – Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow:Interviews with political and civil society experts


Twenty years ago freedom of religion was an issue which commanded very little public and media attention. Now, however, it is a matter of almost daily interest especially in connection with immigration. So states and societies have no choice but to address the challenges arising from increasing religious and ideological diversity. › Prior to the year 2000 churches and civil society organisations led the way in drawing attention to violations of religious freedom all over the world – and not just that suffered by Christian believers. Since then, however, politicians have shown greater determination to address the issue. › Members of the German Bundestag and the European Parliament who had a particular interest in freedom of religion fifteen or twenty years ago have in the meantime been entrusted with other tasks or have retired. The situation in churches and civil society organisations is similar. While the wealth of experience they accumulated may now be missed, parliaments, churches and civil society organisations have definitely not lost sight of the issue. › New challenges have arisen from the fact that right-wing populist and nationalist parties – Alternative für Deutschland in Germany, Rassemblement National in France, Lega Nord in Italy, PiS in Poland and FIDESZ in Hungary, to mention just a few – have seized on the issue for their own ends. However, there is reason to doubt that they are genuinely interested in freedom of religion and the concerns of Christians who suffer persecution and discrimination. On the contrary, the issue would appear to be a means of averting immigration in particular, although not exclusively, from the Islamic world. › In this publication interviews conducted with civil society experts and members of the German Bundestag and the European Parliament who have shown an active commitment to religious freedom both in their parliamentary work and elsewhere revisit their advocacy of freedom of religion over the past twenty years and assess the current challenges it faces.

Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Politics, History and International Relations
Additional Information: This text is licensed under the conditions of “Creative Commons Namensnennung-Weitergabe unter gleichen Bedingungen 4.0 international”, CC BY-SA 4.0 (retrievable at:
ISBN: 978-3-95721-919-0
Last Modified: 09 May 2024 07:27
Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2021 12:52
Full Text Link: https://www.kas ... t=1622643703256
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PURE Output Type: Edited Volume
Published Date: 2021
Authors: Oehring, Otmar



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike

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