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Europe LATVIA

SWEDEN

LITHUANIA RUSSIA

BELARUS POLAND

RUSSIA

CZECH REP. SLOVAKIA

UKRAINE

AUSTRIA HUNGARY

MOLDOVA

SLOVENIA CROATIA BOS. AND HERZ.

ROMANIA

(NORTH CAUCASUS)

SERBIA BULGARIA

MONT. ITALY

KAZAKHSTAN

The state of religious freedom in Europe has changed dramatically in the past 25 years. The biggest changes have occurred in eastern Europe, with the demise of communism and the end of the “Iron Curtain”. Churches that had long been repressed began to enjoy religious freedom and this freedom has, by and large, continued.

GEORGIA

MACE. ALBANIA GREECE

ARMENIA AZERBAIJAN

The Global Guide lists just three countries in Europe (Belarus, Turkey and the North Caucasus region of Russia) where Christians face limited persecution, in contexts particular to each country.

TURKEY

In Russia, human rights violations including religious freedom violations have increased greatly in recent years (particularly against civil society organisations, journalists, gay-rights activists, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Muslims). The Russian Orthodox Church wields enormous political influence and other Christian groups fear that the windows of opportunity for open ministry and religious freedom appear to be closing. IRAN

MALTA

CYPRUS

SYRIA

IRAQ

In Western Europe, the religious freedom landscape has been altered by factors such as: the significant decline in church attendance; the rise in aggressive secularism and particularly the strident views of militant atheists; the spread of radical Islam; and the advancement of equality legislation (in national parliaments and at EU level). Growing concern about the marginalisation of Christians in Europe has been fuelled by a succession of court cases (at national and EU level) in which Christians have been prosecuted for acting in accordance with their beliefs. Often, equality legislation has been used to accuse Christians of discrimination. The most complicated situations have arisen when LGBT rights have been seen as being in conflict with other human rights. The concept of reasonable accommodation is thought by many to offer a way out of such conflict and towards respect for different people and their rights. It is important to note that the rising marginalisation and intolerance experienced by Christians across Europe is not comparable to the persecution experienced by Christians in the countries listed in this Guide.

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Europe

Church in Chains Global Guide  
Church in Chains Global Guide  

The Church in Chains Global Guide lists 60 countries where Christians face persecution because of their faith. The Global Guide divides the...

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