Like many other civil society organisations, religious communities are entitled to share their views at the European level. But besides official and moderate representation, extremist religious (mostly Christian) organisations have become very active in EU corridors, trying to impose their ideologically-driven, draconian and undemocratic agendas onto the rest of society by influencing laws and policies, with no respect for other religious and philosophical views.
Why do we call them extremists ?
Because these groups go far beyond religious convictions or conservative opinions and try to advance hardline agendas based on extreme interpretations of religious doctrine that oppose European principles in many ways. Many of these organisations regularly equate abortion with murder, homosexuality with paedophilia, sex education with collective masturbation and human rights activists with “sodomite lobbies”.
Most of them are obsessed with the issues of abortion and homosexuality and have dedicated lots of efforts in the past months to impede new European developments promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and LGBTI rights.
New packaging, same agenda
These anti-human rights organisations rarely present themselves as traditionalist organisations but rather as “Human rights activists” and“progressive” organisations working to defend life and the family in Europe. They have carefully re-thought their strategy to gain respectability, hiding behind neutral names and websites and putting forward biased legal and scientific expertise rather than religious principles.
However, their ultra-conservative agenda remains unchanged.
Not all of them have necessarily been influencial on EU politics. Nevertheless, their activism contributes to creating a climate of fear and hate where complicated issues are resumed to a “pro” and “against” position.
At the EHF, we have often met them on our way to promote free choice, equality and non-discrimination. If you want to know who are the main organisations campaigning against democratic values and fundamental rights at the European level, click below.
This research was conducted in 2015 jointly with the EPF – European Parliamentary Forum on Population and Development.