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Commitment to religious freedom - yesterday, today, tomorrow

by Anne Jenichen, Dr. Otmar Oehring

Interviews with political and civil society experts

How can we ensure that the issue of religious freedom continues to occupy an important place in politics and civil society in the future? This interview volume explores this question and lets active and former parliamentarians have their say - as well as experts from civil society.

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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.

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.

Read the entire interview volume here as a PDF.

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Richard Ottinger

Richard Ottinger (2021)

International Religious Dialogue (0)30 26996 - 3446


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About this series

In our series "Interviews", talks and discussions are held with experts from the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V. on various topics.