Metropolitan Hilarion speaks at OSCE meeting on Christianophobia

The high-level meeting on Preventing and Responding to Hate Incidents and Crimes against Christians took place on September 12, 2011, in Rome. It has become one of the first issue events to be held by the OSCE on the problem of Christanophobia. It was initiated by Lithuania, the present chair of the OSCE, and supported by the Holy See. The forum was attended by representatives of the OSCE member states, international organizations, experts, journalists and scientists.

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, head of the Moscow Patriarchate’s department for external church relations, spoke at the opening session. He cited concrete cases of infringement of the rights of Christians in the OSCE region. In his opinion, these incidents were provoked by growing secular tendencies in the European society. He also proposed parameters for cooperation between the OSCE and religious communities in defending the rights of Christians.

On behalf of the Italian Government, the meeting was addressed by Mr. Giuseppe Cossiga, Italian Vice Defense Secretary. He underscored the seriousness of the problems put on the agenda of the meeting. Mr. Evaldas Ignatavicius, Lithuanian deputy foreign minister, justified the relevance of the defense of Christian rights in today’s world. Mr. Janez Lenacic, director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human. Rights, Mr. Lamberto Zannier, OSCE secretary general, and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Holy See secretary for relations with states, shared their vision of the problem of Christianophobia.

The forum worked also in sections devoted to opposing the violation of the rights of Christians on international and local levels, the protection of holy places and other burning issues.

DECR Communication Service