10nov2011

Between the 2nd and the 5th of November 2011, a meeting was held in Strasbourg of France by the sub- committee of the Commission of Church and Society for human rights and religious freedom. The Church of Cyprus was represented by the theologian Mr. Georgios Ioannou.

During the meetings, the sub- committee finalized the manual of the Churches for human rights and religious freedom, as well as the way of using it by the Churches members of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), according to the legal frame of both the European Union’s member states and the members of the European Council. The manual is to be published in the mid of December 2011 and will be sent to the Churches members.

During the meetings in Strasbourg, the sub- committee had the chance to meet with Mr. Stefanos Stavros, member of the Council of Europe responsible for the Commission for Racism and Intolerance (ECRI). The sub-committee had an extend discussion with Mr. Stavros on topics that are concerning in general the Commission of Church and Society. The sub-committee was also informed about the tasks of the commission, its framework of function, as well as the achievements and targets for the upcoming years. Mr. Stavros stressed that for the up-coming 2012, it is scheduled to examine five countries members of the European Council through different mechanisms, whether they are violating human rights. In addition, is important to mention that the commission intervenes for violation of rights and in other member states for topics such as: religious, linguistic, political opinions etc. It was also mentioned that ECRI is trying through its directions to protect and as well prevent phenomena such as islamophobia, anti-Semitism and xenophobia.

The sub-committee during its last meeting decided that its next meeting will be held in Vienna in May 2012.     

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