Countries in the European Union comprise of diverse religions. There are four countries with an official state religion; Malta being Catholic, Greece being Orthodox, Denmark and UK being Christian. As seen, Christianity is highly dominant in countries in the European Union; as such, other religions are often regarded as marginalized, including Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, while secularization is also prevalent(6). This creates discrimination toward minority religions. It is worsened by the refugee crisis and the booming of illegal immigrants mainly coming from the Middle East, a lot being Jews and Muslims.
They not only caused panic in countries but are also widely preconceived to be harmful and prone to creating terrorist attacks even when they have not created any.
The discrimination is shown in the ban of special religious clothing and overly selective schools which are dominated by Christians. In some countries, Muslim hijabs are banned from wearing. Similarly, Christians sometimes dominate the education system, leaving lots of students nowhere to study as they are not Baptized.
The European Union is a secularized body, not favouring nor interfering any religions, respecting all cultures and freedom of beliefs; hence, there is an increasing demand for religion tolerance arising in the EU.
93% of Greek are Orthodox Christians(1). Upon such dominance of Christianity, there is no doubt discrimination against other religions. There are not enough facilities nor churches for the marginalized groups. Even though people were given voices, the government didn’t have concrete tactics on how to react due to citizen’s fear that mosques will symbolize a welcoming message to more refugees and illegal immigrants.
In addition, due to the big wave of refugees moving in and the illegal immigrants moving into Greece(5), there is fear among citizens towards the people, and as a consequence, the religion(which mainly the refugees believe in them), prevalently because of the fear of terrorist attacks. This fear is certainly concrete; but Greece chooses to embrace religious differences, allowing, respecting special clothing of religion or any ways of worshipping(5). Greece also has a secular school system where people do not have to be Christians to attend school(2). This has contributed to the high literacy degree among Greeks as 98% of citizens have gone through tertiary education(3). Hence, Greece believes that it’s important for all countries to respect and embrace choices of worshipping of all and enhance the access to educating facilities for the minority groups, ensuring everyone gets equal opportunities of education after the problem of illegal immigration and the excessive amount of refugees has been mitigated.
Greece government has stored the idea of building mosques for decades but have not actually implemented it due to huge immigration problems(5). As such, the action that has been taken by the authorities in order to respect people’s rights and freedom of worshipping is closing one eye and not punishing some illegal mosques and temples built by religious leaders(5). Another action done would be completely allowing special religious clothing, like hijabs, etcetera.
Greece proposes the panacea that the number of refugees fleeing into the countries in the European Union be controlled. There may be a heightened standard for refugees entering the countries in the EU. Also, harsher punishments need to be carried out for illegal immigrants in all countries. Harmful religious groups should also never be tolerated. As allowing religious wears looks like a signal welcoming the refugees and illegal immigrants, this will then eliminate the sense of fear towards the religions that were mainly believed in by the refugees and illegal immigrants. Religious wears can then be allowed since the primary concern is wiped away. In addition, some countries are known to have extra funds from compulsory worshipping taxes collected from citizens(4). Thus, Greece proposes that all countries make this tax compulsory but in a minute amount at first to evaluate people’s acceptance. Some can then be spared to build schools. Hence, even in very Christian countries, aside from government-funded Christian schools which are highly restrictive for students to be able to apply, there would be schools destined for students of other religions and non-religious students to go to without the government needing to worry about funds.