In a landmark ruling, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has decided that those who are unable to practise their faith publicly are entitled to claim asylum in EU countries.
The decision, made on 5 September, means that EU member states will now grant refugee status on the basis of religious persecution, even in cases where the claimants are still able to practice their faith in private in their homeland.
The ECJ ruled:
“It is not the public or private, or collective or individual, nature of the manifestation and practice of the religion which will determine whether a violation of the right to freedom of religion should be regarded as persecution, but the severity of the measures and sanctions adopted or liable to be adopted against the person concerned.”
The ruling is a significant victory for religious freedom and should make it easier for persecuted Christians to escape oppressive regimes. It came in response to an asylum appeal brought in Germany by two Ahmadi men from Pakistan.
Source: Barnabas Aid