Cypriot MP Kyriacos Hadjiyiannis has referred to the situation in Cyprus` Turkish occupied areas during a debate at the parliamentary assembly of OSCE, noting that we cannot stand idly by while religious sites are vandalised, while the clergy is intimidated and while religious freedoms are obstructed.
Hadjiyiannis was addressing a debate on combatting intolerance and discrimination on the basis of religion or beliefs during the 18th Autumn Session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE which condluded its work on Sunday, a Cyprus parliament press release says.
He recalled that the Helsinki`s Final Act referrs to the respect of religious freedom which reflects its importance on maintaining peace and stability.
Referring to the situation in the Turkish occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus he noted that “we cannot stand by idle while religious sites are vandalised, while the clergy is intimidated and while religious freedoms are obstructed.” He added that the lack of respect of religious freedom does not allow for optimism on reaching progress.
Today, he noted that many participating OSCE countries have recorded progress in combating discrimination due to religious beliefs, recognizing at the same time that challenges such as antisemitism, islamophobia and christianophobia continue to exist.