Publicador de contenidos

Back to 2013_012_05_ICS_Hay que establecer modelos de cooperación entre religión y Estado en la UE para frenar la tendencia a la reducción de la libertad social

"Models of cooperation between religion and state must be established in the EU to curb the trend towards the reduction of social freedom."

José Luis Bazán, advisor legal of COMECE, said at the University of Navarra that protecting the right to conscientious objection "guarantees the moral freedom of individuals and the democratic system itself".

Image description
José Luis Bazán, advisor legal of COMECE.
PHOTO: Carlota Cortés
05/12/13 11:33 Isabel Teixeira Da Mota

"In the European Union, models of cooperation between religion and State must be established in order to halt the tendency to reduce social freedom. In addition, the right to conscientious objection, which guarantees the moral freedom of individuals and the democratic system itself, must be protected". This was affirmed by José Luis Bazán, advisor juridical of the Commission of Episcopal Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), during a seminar at the Institute for Culture and Society of the University of Navarra, organized by the project 'Religion and Civil Society'.

According to Bazán, the panorama of the religious internship in Europe "is increasingly complex", partly due to immigration: "The arrival of a not inconsiderable issue of immigrants of Islamic religion to Europe in recent decades has increased the issue of Mohammedans to over 17 million, with a growing presence in countries such as Belgium, France, Austria, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Holland and Germany".

He added that there are places "where the Islamic community is growing exponentially" and "real ghettos" are forming. As an example, he mentioned Brussels, where more than 20% of the population practices this religion. "In Holland it is very visible, and in France, too. There are serious problems in Sweden, especially in Malmö, where there is growing hostility from members of the Islamic community towards the Jewish minority," he said.

Secularism and religious diversity

Regarding the perception of Islam in Europe, José Luis Bazán stressed that the existence of a "very radical" faction, inside and outside Europe, "does not financial aid improve its image as a whole". "Many Europeans wonder where is the condemnatory voice of the leaders of Islam when atrocities by fundamentalists take place." On the other hand, he added that in Europe there is a widespread idea that "one's own social and cultural norms are not always respected by immigrants, especially of Muslim culture, which gives rise to a certain rejection."

Along with Islam, Bazán said that "certain Eastern beliefs that fit in quite well with relativist fashions and the boom in the self-help culture" are also proliferating.

He also pointed out that many Christian immigrants -from Latin America, Africa and even Asia- also arrive and have a growing influence: "In them we see a firm, deep-rooted, practicing Christianity. They contribute in good measure to the revitalization of some Christian communities that had lost their original strength".

José Luis Bazán stressed that this panorama of religious diversity "is being used by secularism to deny Christianity its primordial value in the configuration of Europe". In this way, he denounced that "intolerance against Christians in the public space is growing, as evidenced by the fact that the number of cases in which Christians go to court to defend the public expression of their convictions is increasing".

See PDF with the complete interview with José Luis Bazán