It is impossible to understand European history without reference to religion. But it is more difficult and less understood by contemporary European society in purely secular terms. Controversial political and legal decisions concerning the Christian cross and the Islamic minaret in Europe illustrate a growing separation between religion and culture. First, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg (France) has ruled that the presence of the cross in Italian classrooms violates the European Convention on Human Rights of 1950. At the heart of the decision was the question of whether the cross was a cultural or religious symbol. The Italian government has argued that the cross is a cultural symbol of the fundamental values ​​of modern democracy and the Italian state. The court disagreed. She saw that the cross is often a religious symbol whose presence in the classroom violates freedom of thought, conscience and religion for unbelieving students and their right to an education that respects their personal beliefs. Second, in a referendum, the Swiss people decided by a majority of 57.5% (participation of 53.4%) to support a constitutional amendment prohibiting the construction of minarets. Right-wing extremists started the campaign for the ban and pushed it. The Swiss government, parliament and NGOs such as Amnesty International have opposed it. It should be noted that the Roman Catholic Church and the Swiss Protestant Union actively opposed the ban on the grounds that it was discriminatory and incompatible with the Christian values ​​of freedom and religious tolerance. But the fear of Islam and immigration prevailed in the minds of Swiss voters. The ban on the minaret illustrates well the weakening influence of Christianity in Switzerland, rather than its strength. Some Christian thinkers wanted Christianity to take a stand “against” culture. Looking at the world as a dark and mistaken place, people like Tolstoy or Saint Benedict wanted Christians to stay away from the dominant culture in order to criticize and shape it from a critical distance. Others, especially liberal Protestants, viewed Christianity as part of culture. This tradition does not tend to have major tension between the church and the world, and tends to reconcile culture and religion, focusing on the cultural aspects most compatible with Christian principles. For many centuries, Christianity has been closely linked to European culture in good and bad ways. Europe has brought incredible cathedrals and impressive art, and it values ​​this human dignity and love, but also the crusaders, the Inquisition, the wars of religion and imperialism. But after the Enlightenment, the French Revolution and the rise of atheism, contemporary Europe has become deeply secular. Church attendance and religious practices are declining; Cathedrals often seem to be more museums than places of worship; Christian leaders find it difficult to convince their flock of their formal beliefs and social values. As a young Catholic Christian, I can understand why Italian politicians and politicians are troubled by the decision of the European Court of Human Rights. I also share political, legal and religious concerns regarding the ban on minarets and their potential negative impact on the situation of Christians facing discrimination or persecution in Islamic lands. However, I am puzzled by the extent to which Christians across Europe defend the cultural interpretation of the cross. As the approval of the Swiss minaret against the opinions of Christian churches shows, the idea that Europe has a “Christian identity” has become paradoxical. In defense, the Italian government has argued that “the cross is, in fact, displayed in the classroom, but in no way required that teachers or students show signs of greeting or sanctification. …

In the early years, Amnesty International called for the release and release of prisoners of conscience on a case-by-case basis through its voluntary adoption groups. However, for Amnesty International leaders and members, knowledge of individual cases of political imprisonment has led to repatriation and the need for higher international standards of prevention with regard to the treatment of detainees. The frequency of torture in these cases is of particular concern. Amnesty International has recognized the need to try to shape behavior


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