West Slows Down Adoption Of OSCE Declaration To Combat Anti-Religious Sentiments - Lavrov

(@FahadShabbir)

West Slows Down Adoption of OSCE Declaration to Combat Anti-Religious Sentiments - Lavrov

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 24th July, 2021) Western countries slow down the adoption of a declaration against Christianophobia, Islamophobia and prejudice against any other religious belief within the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Saturday.

In an interview with the Rossiya 24 tv channel on the 55th anniversary of Russian Orthodox Church External Relations Department head Metropolitan Hilarion, the minister said that the Russian foreign ministry and the Russian Orthodox Church were taking concrete steps to protect Christians, especially in the middle East and North Africa. It is necessary to draw the international community's attention to the issue, Lavrov added.

"This is extremely important. But this is how our colleagues in the West view this issue. Despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of their population are Christians, for the seventh year now, we have not been able to adopt a document within the OSCE that would raise the voice of the world community in defense of Christians and Muslims in Europe a declaration against Islamophobia and Christianophobia," Lavrov said.

Russia has been advocating for such a document since 2014 when the OSCE adopted a declaration on stepping up efforts to fight antisemitism, the minister recalled.

The top diplomat went on to say that hundreds of thousands of Christians fled the Middle East when democracy started to spread across the region.

"The Christian population is particularly affected by the Syrian conflict. Syria is one of the cradles of Christianity," Lavrov noted.

In a bid to protect those affected, the ministry, along with the Russian Orthodox Church External Relations Department, has been holding a special forum in support of Christians on the sidelines of the OSCE, the UN Human Rights Council for several years, the official added.