MOSCOW, April 22, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A delegate of the Russian Orthodox Church to the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (WCAR), being held in Geneva this week, has asked that Christianophobia be included in international law as a form of discrimination and intolerance.
"It is very important to the Russian Orthodox Church to raise the issue of introducing to the list of threats the notion of Christianophobia in addition to anti-Semitism and Islamophobia," deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations Archpriest Georgy Ryabykh told the Interfax news service.
Ryabykh pointed out that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon mentioned anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in his opening speech at the conference but failed to say "a single word about Christianophobia."
Today there are a lot of "examples of violations of Christians' rights, insults of their feelings, public distortion of the Christian teaching, to make the notion of Christianophobia enter the international circulation," the archpriest said. Emphasizing the contribution of the Russian Orthodox Church to European civilization, Ryabykh declared that the increasing discrimination against Christians should not be taken lightly.
The purpose of the WCAR conference, known as Durban II, is to continue the work of combating racism since the World Conference on Racism (WCAR), held in Durban, South Africa in September 2001. That event was marred by attempts by some participating countries to label Israel as an "apartheid" state, which caused the U.S. and Israel to walk out.
Read LSN articles on WCAR:
UN RACISM CONFERENCE TO FIGHT DISCRIMINATION BASED ON 'SEXUAL ORIENTATION'
UNITED NATIONS TO FIGHT DISCRIMINATION BASED ON 'SEXUAL ORIENTATION'