The Conference of European Churches held a special event in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights (10/12/1948). The event took place at the Chapel of the Resurrection in Brussels on the 5th of December. During the event, the invited speakers presented noticeable examples of human rights violations in member-states of the European Union. Among those were the case of the Serbian minority in Croatia, and its counterpart example of Croats living in Serbia. There was also the case of protestant pastors in Spain, who are not entitled to any pension by the state. Bishop Porfyrios of Neapolis, who represents the Church of Cyprus to the European Institutions, manifested the ongoing violation of religious freedom of the Cypriot refugees by the Turkish army and the occupying regime, during the last 44 years. With the aid of a series of slides from the occupied territories, His Grace helped the audience realize how the access to at least 50 places of worship is forbidden for their legitimate owners. He underscored that they are prevented from performing religious rites there and from maintaining the sites. He shed light to the massive destruction of Christian cemeteries and also to the work of the Intercommunal Technical Commission for the Cultural Heritage. With the financial support from the European Union, primarily, works of maintenance have been carried out for seven out of 575 Orthodox Christian monuments since 2012. He called upon the EU’s Institutions to exert pressure on Turkey, in order to put an end to such unacceptable policies, considering the latter’s bid to become a full member-state of the European Union. 

Event 70th Ann.H.R.Decl.CEC

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