The pledge and purpose
The Faith and Freedom Summit is not an organization. Itís a campaign proposed and run by a large coalition of faith-based and non faith-based NGOs and supported by many EU stakeholders.
It has been launched on June 28, 2018 with a high-level launch event.
This non-partisan event gathered high-level thought-leaders to highlight where religious freedom is hindered in European Union today, to assess areas that need to be improved as regards the protection of freedom of religion or belief,
and to be a force of proposal to outline policies toward a greater respect of religious diversity in Europe. The Summit launched a pledge that all MEP candidates are asked to sign,
that reads as following: "I pledge that I will uphold and defend the freedom of conscience and religion of all individuals by rejecting and speaking out against bigotry, discrimination, harassment and violence;
and so build a more equitable society for all." The signature of the pledge is inter alia supported by Mr Ahmed Shaheed, current UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion or Belief (see here).
The signature of the pledge is starting on Tuesday December 12, when a request for signing will be send to all MEPs.
With the 2019 European elections in sight, we believe that the time has come to address Freedom of Religion or Belief as an important topic to be tackled in the EU.
We, as others, are committed to freedom of religion or belief and believe that the EU should have more involvement than only tackling these issues in its external relations, as it is the case nowadays.
The scope of the EU Special Envoy for Promotion of Freedom of Religion or Belief is outside the European Union. If we want to have a legitimate influence outside of EU borders in the field of freedom of religion,
we must be beyond reproach within our borders. Unfortunately, this is not the case today.
We strongly believe that EU citizens must enjoy a real freedom of religion or belief, at every level, and that this fundamental right is not given the importance it deserves in the EU institutions,
and in the EU instruments to protect the various freedoms of EU citizens.
It is for these reasons that our mission is to propose and develop initiatives that will put Freedom of Religion or Belief in Europe back in the spotlights.
We will see a great deal of committed stakeholders from various backgrounds (scholars, human rights fighters, religious leaders, politicians)
joining in to become a real force of proposal for a better Europe, a Europe which cares about freedom.