Reformed MEP pleads for better protection of persecuted Christians


European Union


MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen is a politician from the Reformed SGP party. Photo ANP, Ramon van Flymen

Even though the EU guidelines for freedom of religion have existed for ten years, they have been barely applied, MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen says. The Dutch Reformed politician pleads for more action from the European Union.

His party, the Dutch SGP, believes that it is a good thing to have the guidelines in place. “But I have serious doubts about the execution of them”, Ruissen said on Thursday during an EP debate that he had requested. He pointed out that the European Commission never presented the promised reports of the meetings. Also, it took three years to fulfil the vacancy of the Commissioner of religious freedom.

According to Ruissen, religious persecution is increasing worldwide, such as in countries like Nigeria and India, where many Christians are killed because of their faith.


The SGP party had three requests for the European Commission, the party writes in a press release. The first one is the short-term presentation of the report on the implementation of the guidelines. The second one is the demand for a permanent mandate for the EU Commissioner of Religious Freedom and extra personnel so he can do his job well. And the last request is about proposals to dedicate June 24, the day the guidelines were presented, as the European Day for the fight against religious persecution.

Ethnic violence

On Thursday, the European Parliament also passed a resolution against religious violence in India. The resolution mainly consists of a demand to the Indian government to combat this violence, the Dutch daily Reformatorisch Dagblad writes.

Ethnic violence between the Hinduistic Metei community and the Kuki tribe has increased over the past months in the state of Manipur. Many Christians died. Therefore, the European Parliament strongly requests the Indian government to do everything in its power to end this violence and protect religious minorities, such as the Christian community.

MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen asserted that “without strict guarantees, there can be no new trade agreement with India.”



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