Thomas Schirrmacher, Director of the International Institute for Religious Freedom (IIRF), testified in the British House of Lords in a meeting between Parliamentarians from the UK and from all over Latin America.

Schirrmacher, Berridge, Quintão © BQ / Warnecke

„Every religion and worldview has its extremist and violent wing“, the sociologist of religion said. „What changes over time, is the percentage clinging to it.“ Thus Christianity 100 years ago still accepted at large the use of state power to fight other religions or other confessions within Christianity, today only a very tiny minority is in favour of it.

The wings prone to violence within Christianity, Jewish faith and non-religious worldviews are in retreat since 1950, but the wings prone to violence within Islam and Hinduism are growing and are steadily winning additional supporters. After all, peaceful Muslims and Hindus are in large numbers victims of the wings of their religions prone to violence, but it is obvious, that the extremist percentage within the two religions has risen a lot.

Schirrmacher called upon the peaceful wings of religions and worldviews to fight for freedom of religion or belief over against the enemies of freedom of religion or belief within ones own religion.

Schirrmacher and Baroness Berridge with the heads of the delegations of parliamentarians from five Latin American countries © BQ / Warnecke

The session was chaired by Elizabeth Baroness Rose Berridge (of the Vale of Catmose in the County of Rutland), who has been in the House of Lords since 2011 – as the than youngest woman ever – and is Co-Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on International Freedom of Religion or Belief, a network of 67 British parliamentarians for religious freedom. She also sits on the Ecclesiastical Committee, is Co-director of the Commonwealth Initiative for Freedom of Religion or Belief (CIFoRB) and a member of the Steering Committee of the International Platform of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief (IPPFoRB).

The session was co-chaired by Leonardo Quintão, President of the Parliamentary Coalition for Refugees and Humanitarian Aid of the Brazilian National Congress, and organized by Uziel Santana, Director of ANAJURE and the Latin American Office of the International Institute for Religious Freedom (IIRF).



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