Alliance Defending Freedom attorney to testify before U.S. Helsinki Commission MondayBriefing concerns state-sanctioned marginalization of Christians in Western Europe
Saturday, December 08, 2012
WHO: Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Roger Kiska
WHAT: Briefing on the state-sanctioned marginalization of Christians in Western Europe
WHEN: Monday, Dec. 10, at 2 p.m. EST
WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building, Independence Ave. and South Capitol St., Room B318, Washington
WASHINGTON — Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Legal Counsel Roger Kiska will join two other expert witnesses to testify before the U.S. Helsinki Commission Monday on the state-sanctioned marginalization of Christians in Western Europe.
The Helsinki Commission, known formally as the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, is “an independent U.S. Government agency created in 1976 to monitor and encourage compliance with the Helsinki Final Act and other OSCE commitments.” The commission consists of nine members from the U.S. Senate, nine members from the U.S. House of Representatives, and one member each from the U.S. Departments of State, Defense, and Commerce.
“The freedom to practice and follow one’s faith without government intrusion is among the most essential of human rights,” said Kiska, who works at the Alliance Defending Freedom office in Vienna, Austria. “Sadly, the government itself is seeking to marginalize Christians in particular throughout Western Europe. This has been clear in numerous legal cases in which we have been involved throughout Europe, including at the European Court of Human Rights.”
Also testifying at the hearing will be Professor Tom Farr, director of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University, and Dr. Roger Trigg, academic director for the Kellogg Centre for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Oxford University. Trigg is also an associate scholar for the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University.
According to the Helsinki Commission announcement for the briefing, reports “indicate that the marginalization of Christians occurs through subtle changes in law and policy that drive Christian expression off the public square or signal that Christians are not welcome on the square. In recent months four British Christians filed petitions with the European Court of Human Rights after they were denied reasonable religious accommodation in the workplace first by their respective employers, and then by the UK courts. This briefing will examine reports of the Western European movement toward state-sanctioned marginalization of Christians. It will further analyze the origins, methods, and implications of such a movement and its relation to religious freedom rights as they are protected in major international human rights agreements.”
Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys and allied attorneys make up the chief legal teams and third-party intervenors defending the British Christians at the European Court of Human Rights in Eweida and Chaplin v. United Kingdom and Ladele and McFarlane v. United Kingdom.
- Pronunciation guide: Kiska (KISH’-kuh)