Welcome to USCIRF

Western Europe Chapter - 2017 Annual Report

Western Europe Chapter - 2017 Annual Report

French Translation

German Translation

Key Findings

USCIRF continues to monitor religious freedomrelated issues in Western Europe highlighted in previous Annual Reports. These include: government registration requirements and monitoring of disfavored groups pejoratively labeled as “cults” or “sects”; government restrictions on and efforts to restrict certain forms of religious expression (such as places of worship, dress and visible symbols, and parents’ rights); the impact of hate speech and other laws on peaceful expressions of belief; and the impact of counterextremism policies on certain religious communities. Governmental restrictions on religious freedom both arise from and encourage a societal atmosphere of intolerance against the targeted religious groups, and limit their social integration and educational and employment opportunities. Alongside these restrictions, in recent years there has been an alarming rise in societal hostility toward Jews and Muslims in Europe, including discrimination, harassment, and sometimes violence, which further isolates and marginalizes these populations. Organizations tracking anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim incidents in a number of Western European countries reported increases in 2016.