European Interreligious Forum For Religious Freedom
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Attorneys of Slavic Legal Center think Russian Supreme Court incorrect

Russian Pentecostal church shut down
by Viktoriia Belova -  Source HRWF Newsletter
Religiia i Pravo (11.03.2014) - The decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian federation of 5 March 2014 concerning the liquidation of the local religious organization of the "Harvest" Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith (Pentecostals) because of a lack of a license for educational activity will be appealed to the European Court for Human Rights.
On 14 November 2013 a St. Petersburg city court issued a decision for the liquidation of the local religious organization of the "Harvest" Church of Christians of Evangelical Faith (Pentecostals), that has approximately 200 parishioners. The court's decision was appealed to the Judicial College for Civil Cases of the Supreme Court of the Russian federation.
However on 5 March 2014 the Supreme Court rejected the appeal and the decision for the liquidation of the church was left without change. The interests of the church in the trial were represented by attorneys of the Slavic Legal Center Anatoly Pchelintsev and Sergei Chugunov.
The St. Petersburg city court and the Supreme Court of RF came to the conclusion that the church engages in educational activity without having a license to do so and it engages in activity of providing general educational services which is not provided for in the church's charter.
The leadership of the congregation and rights advocates do not agree with this decision and they maintain that the church does not conduct educational activity but merely provides premises for classes with children who are studying in the form of an "externate," or non-residential studies.
In the opinion of the lawyers, the fact that the church engages in educational activity without a license and activity that is not provided for by the church's charter was not established during the judicial sessions. The courts interpreted incorrectly the standards of the substantive law and gave their own interpretation of the concept of educational activity that does not correspond to the definition of the concept of education given in the law on education.
"I am deeply disappointed with this decision of the Supreme Court," stated the honorable Russian attorney, senior partner of the Slavic Legal Center Advocates' Bureau Anatoly Pchelintsev. "In my view, it is incorrect. The decision of the St. Petersburg court and subsequently of the Supreme Court is disproportionate to the action committed. There is a whole arsenal of measures of prosecutorial response that could have been used in this situation. For example, the prosecutor could have issued a warning or caution, or have opened an administrative proceeding, or have required the religious organization to restore the violated rights of victims if there were such. But for some unknown reasons, the prosecutor did not apply these measures but immediately requested the liquidation of the congregation that had not committed any serious violations of law.
"I am very sorry, but we will again have to appeal to the European Court for Human Rights. I am sure that the decision of that court will be in the church's favor, but at the same time we will be perceived in Europe as a primitive society that is incapable of getting simple questions straight. In any case, we will stand up for the church." (tr. by PDS, posted 11 March 2014) 

Rédigé par EIFRF le Wednesday, March 12th 2014 | Comments (0)

A Complaint has been sent by FOREF (Forum for Religious Freedom - Europe), an International NGO based in Austria, against French MP Rudy Salles who is Rapporteur on a motion "The protection of minors against excesses of sects " at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). The complaint has been sent to Secretary General of the PACE Wojciech Sawicki, as well as to the Chairman and members of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the PACE. Here is the full text of it, as well as the complaint itself that you can download:

Religious Freedom - Complaint against French MP Rudy Salles - Rapporteur at the PACE
Mr Wojciech Sawicki
Secretary General
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
Palais de l’Europe
Avenue de l’Europe
67075 Strasbourg
Vienna, the 7st November 2013
Dear Sir,
I would like to draw your attention to the following facts, regarding a report under preparation in the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, “The Protection of Minors Against Sectarian Influence”, and his rapporteur Mr Rudy Salles. It appears to me that these facts are serious enough to bring to your attention and that  of the members of the Committee.
The code of conduct for rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly (resolution 1799), rules that rapporteurs should respect (1.1) a principle of neutrality, impartiality and objectivity, including in particular:
1.1.1. undertaking not to have any economic, commercial, financial or other interests, on a professional, personal or family level, connected with the subject of the report, and obligation to declare any relevant interests;
1.1.2. undertaking not to seek or accept instructions from any government or governmental or non-governmental organisation, or pressure group or individual;
1.1.3. undertaking not to accept any reward, honorary distinction, decoration, favour, substantial gift or remuneration from a government or governmental or non-governmental organisation, a pressure group or an individual in connection with activities carried out in the exercise of their duties;
1.1.4. undertaking to refrain from any act which may cast doubt on their neutrality;
The following information indicates that Mr. Rudy Salles has breached articles 1.1.1, 1.1.2 and 1.1.4 in the course of his duties as rapporteur for the report on “protection of minors against sectarian influence”. It shows that he has not only been strongly influenced by both a government department and NGOs anti-pathetic towards religions (and in particular minority religions) but that he has himself been a long-term supporter of such a position. This political and personal interest he did not declare, as he should have, according to the established code of a rapporteur.
Mr Salles was appointed as rapporteur to draft a report on “protection of minors against sectarian influence” on 7th September 2011.
This issue has been strongly lobbied for by French “anti-cult” groups for many years. It is also a position that has been strongly criticized internationally by both governments and human rights organisations. Mr. Salles is a long-time associate of Mr. Georges Fenech, member of the French National Assembly and former head of the Miviludes, a French government agency in charge of fighting against what they term “sects”. When his appointment to the position of rapporteur occurred, Mr. Salles made a joint statement with Mr. Fenech in a French newspaper (Nice Matin, November 22, 2011), announcing the appointment and claiming that the purpose of that nomination was to create a European observatory on “sects”, a sort of European Miviludes.
In the article Mr. Salles and Mr. Fenech made it very clear that they considered the nomination was the result of a joint action between Miviludes and Rudy Salles to export the French government model to European level via the PACE.
Here are some excerpts of their statements as reported in the newspaper:
Mr. Salles: “This nomination is a first victory. We will not work as in the French parliament, where the engagement is very strong and reports regarding “sects” are voted unanimously. There, for the Council of Europe, it is a question of degree of appreciation of sects in the various countries. Some of them assimilate sects as religions. So our work will be more difficult, but to register this topic at the Council of Europe is already a lot, and the fact the rapporteur is French is a good thing, also because the French National Assembly, after several commissions since 1995, is at the forefront of this issue.”
Mr. Fenech: “I expect a lot from the report that Rudy Salles will produce in one or two years. With that, we have re-launched a European process which had disappeared for 10 years.” He also stated in the article that one of the purposes of the report would be: “the creation of a European Observatory on sects”.
This shows that right from the beginning, Mr. Salles was in agreement with and was following a political and social agenda worked out in cooperation with the French Miviludes. It also shows that the result of the report was already predetermined by the rapporteur before any actual information collection and observation was done.
In his book “Apocalypse imminente”, published in September 2012, Mr. Fenech, President of the Miviludes at that time, wrote: At first I went to the European Fundamental Rights Agency based in Vienna (Austria) to suggest at least, a European programme of studies on cults and minors, in order to not upset anyone. The welcome was polite, but no action has ever followed my initiative. Undoubtedly, the eternal strife within the Member States on the definition of “sect” was an insurmountable obstacle. So I had to change my tactics and act directly to the Council of Europe, the antechamber of the European Parliament (sic), in the very heart of Strasbourg institutions. To this end, I invited to Paris the president of the Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Mr Pourgourides, a Cypriot who promised to engage firmly in that direction. He kept his promise by getting a draft resolution voted upon, whose report was entrusted to a French parliamentarian, Rudy Salles, a pioneer of the anti-cult fight in France. During my meeting with him in Nice, I had no trouble in convincing him to work on this as an emergency.”
The above clearly shows violations of articles 1.1.1, 1.1.2 and 1.1.4 of the rules, as Mr. Salles clearly had prior interests on a professional and personal level as well as accepting  instructions from and/or working in collusion with the President of the Miviludes.
This was later confirmed by Herve Machi, Secretary General of the Miviludes, when he was interviewed by a French Senate Enquiry Commission on “health and sectarian movements”. In this hearing (, 78th minute), Mr. Machi talked of “European harmonization”: “we are trying to instigate such harmonization. We started to do it, not via the issue of “health”, but via the issue of “minors”, by instigating a resolution of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe which has been adopted … It is a French Member of Parliament, Mr Rudy Salles, who is working on the question of the influence of sectarian movements with minors, in order to bring about the creation of a European observatory on sectarian deviances and minors. For us, it was a way to interest our European partners in the issue by reaching them via this common denominator, that of protection of minors. Maybe it will be the beginning of a “ball of wool” which will lead our partners to interest themselves with sectarian deviances, also in the field of health.”
This clearly demonstrates that Miviludes used Mr Salles as a Trojan horse, following Miviludes’ plan to get the Council of Europe to adopt French policy on religious minorities. According to Mr. Machi, it was the Miviludes that “instigated” the resolution of Mr. Pourgourides, and the actions of Mr Salles are clearly viewed as those of the French Miviludes.
That Miviludes was behind this initiative is also confirmed in the Miviludes’ Newsletter of January 2011, written before the resolution on “the protection of minors against sectarian influence” was adopted, where it is written:
“In the frame of the promotion of a European programme on sectarian deviances and minors, Mr Georges Fenech met in December with Mr Jean-Claude Mignon, President of the French Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, as well as Mr Christos Pourgourides, President of the Committee of Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Council of Europe. These interviews were very fruitful should lead to new initiatives”.
In fact, this is not a new plan for Miviludes. Mr. Fenech, at a symposium organized in Lyon (France) the 26 November 2009, stated: “There is still one goal not yet reached to which I attach great importance, it is the implementation of a European programme on sectarian deviances which could be located in the Fundamental Rights Agency based in Vienna, which Miviludes has met in July 2009.”
Prior to that, Miviludes had already spoken about their plan to create a European “observatory on sects”, by using the topics of “sects and minors” in order to get agreement from other countries to follow the Miviludes plan. In 2008, at a FECRIS (European “anti-sect” umbrella association, which in should be noted, receives the majority of its funds from the French government) conference at Pisa, Italy, Catherine Katz, at the time Secretary General of Miviludes, explained: For many years, the MILS (ancestor of the Miviludes), then the MIVILUDES really wanted to show other European States in particular, that they were not, what the cultic movements and their friends affirmed, attacking freedom of conscience and beliefs.”(…) “Now, it is useful to explain France’s position, it is also good to inform about the position of FECRIS, it is positive to communicate on the legitimacy of our actions, but can we go further? Can one imagine a common model in Europe and a minimum point of convergence? I tend to think that this could be realised only through technical actions and aspects, like problems of minors for example. Once again I am personally attached to the protection of the weakest and the protection of minors is a subject common to all and which could be a point of entrance. Which country can accept that its minors be crushed, destroyed, violated, misused? Another possible entrance point is health. An evaluation of deviating methods, be they cultic or not, can make it possible to find common ground. Why not a European observatory in the field of sectarian aberrations?”
Mr Rudy Salles, described by former President of Miviludes Mr. Fenech as “a pioneer of the anti-cult fight in France”, is anything but the neutral or impartial rapporteur needed for conducting such a report in the PACE – if indeed this has any place at all considering its origins. On the 22nd June 2000, before the French National Assembly, Mr. Salles went as far as stating: “Unfortunately, there cannot be a ’big night’ of sects that would allow us to settle this once and for all”. In France, the expression “big night” (grand soir), is a revolutionary expression alluding to the overthrow of a government, usually by the use of force and violence. In the sentence quoted above, Mr. Salles expressed his regret that he could not get rid of “sects” overnight.
I am providing this information to you, showing clearly that Mr. Rudy Salles is neither neutral, nor impartial and has significantly breached the rules 1.1.1, 1.1.2 and 1.1.4 of the code of conduct for rapporteurs of the Parliamentary Assembly.
According to Article 3 of the Code, the penalty for breaching the rules, “should a rapporteur fail to honour one or more undertakings”, can be the withdrawal of his or her mandate.
I respectfully ask you to review this information and conduct an impartial investigation into this matter in order to consider withdrawing Mr. Rudy Salles’ mandate on this topic.
Kind regards,

Peter Zoehrer
FOREF  Europe
• Mr Christopher Chope, Chairman of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights
• Mr Jean-Claude Mignon, President of the PACE
• Mr Rudy Salles, Rapporteur
• Members of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights
• Pages 234 and 235 of the book “Apocalypse, Menace Imminente” by Georges Fenech
• Nice Matin article November 22, 2011

Rédigé par EIFRF le Sunday, March 9th 2014 | Comments (0)

New Era CC founder Emmaneul Ivorgba receives top honor from the Dalai Lama
URI staff in San Francisco warmly welcomed New Era Educational and Charitable Support Foundation CC founder Dr. Emmanuel Ivorgba to the Bay Area from Jos, Nigeria last week, just before he was set to receive an award from the Dalai Lama.
After meeting with the overjoyed, smiling faces of URI, Emmanuel set off to receive the Unsung Heroes of Compassion Award from the His Holiness the Dalai Lama, later speaking at Santa Clara University and at Stanford, where he joined students in a viewing of the award-winning documentary, Project Happiness, in which he is featured.
A passionate youth leader, educator, and peacebuilder, Emmanuel has worked hard to ease tension between Christians and Muslims, Igbo and Hausa, and the rich and the poor in Nigerian communities torn apart by generations of religious and tribal division.
As a youth, Emmanuel was accepted into seminary school for his secondary education, originally intending to become a Catholic priest. But his love of learning propelled him into earning university degrees in computer engineering and information technology. Later, he would receive a PhD in Philosophy and Religion.
To all who have had the privilege of working with Emmanuel, his dedication to helping his fellow Nigerians and the world is profound; his vision for a better future boundless and inspiring. Emmanuel also serves as the West Africa Liaison Officer for URI West Africa, and was joined by URI Africa Regional Coordinator Mussie Hailu in San Francisco.
The passionate yet humble educator and activist sat down with URI to speak about his vision for his CC, New Era, and for Creative Minds International Academy, a values-based school that he also founded.
URI: What was it like to receive an award from the Dalai Lama?
Emmanuel: Receiving the Unsung Heroes Award from His Holiness the Dalai Lama—it is a feeling that is difficult to express in words. I had the privilege of meeting with His Holiness in 2007. That meeting inspired and challenged me to embark on my current work and to have him honor me seven years after. I am deeply humbled, grateful and inspired all the more. The award for me, therefore, is not a recognition for work done, but an invitation to be a greater service to humanity.

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Rédigé par EIFRF le Friday, March 7th 2014 | Comments (0)

Translation of a swedish article by EIFRF

Attitude of Sweden ”liberal” towards sects
Source in Swedish

In the report, which will be discussed in the plenary meeting of 10 April, one can observe that it is not certain which damage sects commit against children in the 47 countries which participate in the Council of Europe. Neither is there any uniform definition of the concept, for which Rudy Salles prefers to use the expression “excesses of sects” (something like, extravagance of sects). This could mean, according to a French definition, “the use of oppression or techniques with the purpose of, or leading to,the creation of, the maintenance of or abuse of a psychological or physical disadvantage for an individual, to the damage of the individual or the society”.
Sweden has received a particular place in the report, and is classified, side by side with Denmark, as a country which ” has a very liberal attitude towards religious freedom and, consequently, to the phenomenon of sects”.
Sweden was one of the two countries which Rudy Salles choose to visit as part of his investigative assignment. He wrote that in December 2012 he met with representatives of the parliament, School Inspection, the Youth Council, the Association Save the Individual (FRI) and the Committee for state support of religions.
“Sweden has really a very liberal attitude towards religious freedom, which occasionally can counteract the protection of children”, noted Rudy Salles.
“ At the end of my visit I concluded that the national education system in Sweden, and particularly the system of financing private schools, just like the registration of associations, contains loopholes which could lead to abuses by sect-like movements”. 
Bo Nyberg, chairman of the Christian private school Council (KRF), says that his organization since then has sent written submissions to Rudy Salles with the viewpoint of the Christian leader on the matter.
- One can´t call it proper research what he did in Sweden because he only met with persons who acknowledged the picture he already had, says Bo Nyberg to Världen idag.[The world today]
The report of Ruddy Salles contains even an account of reposes to a questionnaire which was sent out last Spring to all member states.
In the answer which was written up by the Swedish Parliamentary Research Service is the Swedish private school system accounted for, just like the state support to religions. Furthermore is the question answered which deals with the fact whether the Swedish school authorities at any time “have given, or withdrawn, the authorization to a ´new religious movement´ to establish a school”.
“ A particular controversial question was raised about the school, run by the ´Plymouth Brothers´in South Sweden”, writes the Parliamentary Research Service.
”The School Inspection has reviewed the school many times and criticized the lack of objectivity and completeness; for example through a censorship of internet pages by the Swedish parliament and public service radio. The authorization of the school has nevertheless not been withdrawn”.
The Labora school, located in Långaryd and which is not religion-based, was the target of observation by the School Inspection some years ago and is the school as referred to by Sweden in its answer to the Council of Europe. The matter was closed 2012. In connection with the inspections was responsible Roger Niklewsk interviewed by the paper Schoolworld.
- There is no school in Sweden which had more visits, he told the paper.
- My impression is that the Laboraschool is better than many other schools. The atmosphere is relaxed, the school has no discipline problem and has a high target attainment. The education is objective and comprehensive. The students are study-motivated.

Rédigé par EIFRF le Thursday, March 6th 2014 | Comments (0)

Sveriges hållning ”liberal” mot sekter - PACE

I rapporten, som tas upp i plenum den 10 april, konstaterar man att det inte går att säga med säkerhet vilken skada sekter tillfogar barn i de 47 länder som ingår i Europarådet  Inte heller finns det någon enhetlig definition av begreppet, varför Rudy Salles väljer att använda uttrycket ”excesses of sects” (ungefär, överdrifter av sekter). Detta skulle, enligt en fransk definition, innebära ”bruket av påtryckningar eller tekniker som syftar till, eller leder till, att skapa, upprätthålla eller utnyttja ett psykologiskt eller fysiskt underläge för en individ, till skada för individen eller samhället”.
Sverige har fått en särskild plats i rapporten, och klassas, vid sidan av Danmark, som ett land som ”intar en mycket liberal hållning till religionsfrihet och, följaktligen, till fenomenet med sekter”.
Sverige var ett av två länder som Rudy Salles valde att besöka som del av sitt utredningsuppdrag. I december 2012, skriver han, träffade han företrädare för riksdagen, Skolinpektionen, Ungdomsstyrelsen, Föreningen rädda individen (FRI) och Nämnden för statligt stöd till trossamfund.
”Sverige intar verkligen en mycket liberal hållning till religionsfrihet, vilket ibland kan motverka skyddet av barn”, konstaterar Rudy Salles.
”I slutet av mitt besök drog jag slutsatsen att det nationella utbildningssystemet i Sverige, och i synnerhet systemet för att finansiera privatskolor, liksom för att registrera föreningar, innehåller kryphål som skulle kunna leda till övergrepp av sektliknande rörelser”.
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Rédigé par EIFRF le Thursday, March 6th 2014 | Comments (0)

30 civil society and religious leaders and 10 organizations have joined EIFRF in a supportive letter regarding Motion for a Resolution 13333 at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. The letter has been sent to every member of the Committee on equality and non-discrimination. Here are the text of the letter and the signatories.

Civil society and religious leaders support a motion for religious freedom at PACE
Members of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination
Parliamentary Assembly
of the Council of Europe
Palais de l’Europe
                                                                                         Europe, the 20th of February 2014
Dear members of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe,
We, members of civil society, being aware of the Motion for a Resolution Doc. 13333, The protection of the rights of parents and children belonging to religious minorities”, and being aware that this resolution has been sent to your Committee by the Bureau for “possible follow-up”, would like to express our strong support to this resolution.
Indeed, we think that the appointment of a rapporteur to examine this very important question in the 47 countries of the Council is something that should be done.
Freedom of religion or belief is one of the most fundamental rights of human beings, and in some countries of Europe this right is regularly challenged, minimized or infringed upon without valid justification.
When religious freedom is threatened it is almost always the rights of the minorities that are first to be denied or curtailed. There are many examples of this throughout the Council of Europe’s Member States and it is important that these be taken into account in order that we do not become complacent and we take action to protect those minorities in question. Particular attention should be given to the rights of minorities especially where it concerns the right to educate one’s children in conformity with one’s own religion or belief, this in itself being the subject of European Court of Human Rights decisions.
We are appreciative and supportive of the work of the Council of Europe in protecting and promoting human rights throughout Europe and we believe that you will take this matter seriously. Nevertheless, we wished to express our support for appointing a rapporteur for this motion.
Individuals (in their own names)
Sheikh Dr Muhammad Al-Hussaini, Secretary of Interfaith Alliance – UK
• Dr Alessandro Amicarelli, attorney at law of the BAR of Italy and LAW Society of England and Wales, Doctor of Research in International Order and Human Rights "SAPIENZA" University of Rome – Italy
Dr Iftikhar Ayaz, OBE, Consul General of the Tuvalu Islands in UK, member of the UN Working Group for the Rights of Minorities, Chair of the board of trustees of the All Faith Network – UK
• Thierry Bécourt, President CAPLC – France
Dr Luigi Berzano, full professor of Sociology at the University of Torino, Catholic priest – Italy
• Dr Silvio Calzolari, professor of History of Religions at the ISSR (Higher Institute of Religious Sciences) of Firenze – Italy
• Dr Maria Chiara Giorda, Professor, History of Religions at the University of Torino – Italy
• Jacques Dubreuil, President of the Omnium des Libertés – France
• Dr Juan Ferreiro Gualguera, Professor of Ecclesiastical Law at the State University of Coruna –
• Gurjit Singh, UNITED SIKH Trustee – UK
• Gursev Singh, Dutch Sikh Council, spokesperson – Netherlands
Karan Singh, President of the Sikh Foundation of Switzerland – Switzerland
Rev. Dr Dominique Kounkou, attorney at law, PhD in international public law, Honorary President of the Council of Christian Churches of an African Approach in Europe - France

Rev. Dr William McComish, Dean Emeritus of St. Peter's Cathedral in Geneva, Presbyterian minister, general treasurer of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches.
Robin Marsh, Secretary General Universal Peace Federation (UPF) – UK
• Raffaella di Marzio, psychologist of religion, contributing partner to the Brussels based NGO Human Rights Without Frontiers – Italy
HE Irénéo Namboka, Human Right adviser for UN, former HR Officer of UNHCHR – Switzerland
Jura Nanuk, President of Central-European Religious Freedom Institute – Hungary
• Hans Noot, President of the Gerard Noodt Foundation, member of the board of the ICRLS – Netherlands

Carmine Onnembo, UPF Board of Directors – Germany

• Bertil Persson, National Chancellor of International Association of Educators for World Peace (UNESCO) Scandinavian rep. University of Peace (UNESCO)  Sweden

• Dr. Elke Preußer-Frank, Foundation member of the Federal Association of the Woman Federation for World Peace – Germany
Bashy Quraishy, Secretary General of EMISCO (European Muslim Initiative for Social Cohesion – Strasbourg) – Denmark
Andrew S. Reed, former secretary to Chairman (EFD group), EU Parliament – Belgium
• Æthelwine Richards, Orthodox Chaplain, York St. John University – UK
Eric Roux, Steering Committee of EIFRF – France
Dr Vjekoslav Saje, Centre for Inter-Religious Dialogue – Bosnia-Herzegovina
John Tamale, Associate at UNCHR – Switzerland
Professor Aldo Natale Terrin, Pontifical Institute of Pastoral Liturgy of Padua, Catholic priest –
• Professor Dr G.P.P. Van Tillo, honorary professor of Sociology of Religion in the University of Amsterdam – Netherlands
• Angelina Vladikova, Chair of BRIDGES - Easter European Forum for Dialogue ­– Bulgaria
Martin Weightman, Director All Faith Network – UK
Graeme Wilson, Public Affairs Director, Church of Scientology – UK
BRIDGES  – Easter European Forum for Dialogue –
CAPLC-European Coordination for Freedom of Conscience – Member of ENAR and participant organization of the EU Fundamental Rights Platform –
CERFI – Central-European Religious Freedom Institute –
EIFRF – European Interreligious Forum for Religious Freedom –
UNIVERSAL PEACE FEDERATION (UPF) – UPF is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations

Download the signed on letter:

Rédigé par EIFRF le Tuesday, February 25th 2014 | Comments (0)

EIFRF presentation

EIFRF, while being independent, is an official Cooperation Circle of United Religions Initiative (URI), approved by the global council of URI in August 2013.

Charter of URI
The purpose of the United Religions Initiative is to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings. URI is a global grassroots interfaith network that cultivates peace and justice by engaging people to bridge religious and cultural differences and work together for the good of their communities and the world.
EIFRF, as Cooperation Circle of URI, shares the following purpose and principles:

The purpose of the United Religions Initiative is to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings.

• The URI is a bridge-building organization, not a religion.
• We respect the sacred wisdom of each religion, spiritual expression and indigenous tradition.
• We respect the differences among religions, spiritual expressions and indigenous traditions.
• We encourage our members to deepen their roots in their own tradition.
• We listen and speak with respect to deepen mutual understanding and trust.
• We give and receive hospitality.
• We seek and welcome the gift of diversity and model practices that do not discriminate.
• We practice equitable participation of women and men in all aspects of the URI.
• We practice healing and reconciliation to resolve conflict without resorting to violence.
• We act from sound ecological practices to protect and preserve the Earth for both present and future generations.
• We seek and offer cooperation with other interfaith efforts.
• We welcome as members all individuals, organizations and associations who subscribe to the Preamble, Purpose and Principles.
• We have the authority to make decisions at the most local level that includes all the relevant and affected parties.
• We have the right to organize in any manner, at any scale, in any area, and around any issue or activity which is relevant to and consistent with the Preamble, Purpose and Principles.
• Our deliberations and decisions shall be made at every level by bodies and methods that fairly represent the diversity of affected interests and are not dominated by any.
• We (each part of the URI) shall relinquish only such autonomy and resources as are essential to the pursuit of the Preamble, Purpose and Principles.
• We have the responsibility to develop financial and other resources to meet the needs of our part, and to share financial and other resources to help meet the needs of other parts.
• We maintain the highest standards of integrity and ethical conduct, prudent use of resources, and fair and accurate disclosure of information.
• We are committed to organizational learning and adaptation.
• We honor the richness and diversity of all languages and the right and responsibility of participants to translate and interpret the Charter, Articles, Bylaws and related documents in accordance with the Preamble, Purpose and Principles, and the spirit of the United Religions Initiative.
• Members of the URI shall not be coerced to participate in any ritual or be proselytized.

Rédigé par EIFRF le Tuesday, February 25th 2014

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