The president of the European Commission issued a decision Friday that establishes a new position designed to effectively address the growing restrictions on religious freedom internationally. Former European Union Commissioner and Slovak politician Ján Figel will take on the role of special envoy for the promotion of freedom of religion and belief outside the EU.
The decision was made public at the Vatican Friday on the occasion of the award of the Charlemagne Prize to Pope Francis. It refers to February’s resolution on the systematic mass murder being committed by ISIS, in which the European Parliament called for the creation of a special representative for these matters.
“Anti-conversion laws, blasphemy laws, and other legal restrictions lead to social exclusion and even physical persecution today,” said Sophia Kuby, director of EU Advocacy for ADF International. “An increasing number of people are not free to live out their faith according to their conscience. With the growing persecution of religious minorities throughout the world, the European Union must act beyond political statements and resolutions.”
Religious freedom was declared under ‘sustained assault’ around the world according to the latest United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) report. (The European Post)