August 31, 2020

The international day commemorating the victims of religious persecution is a very important event in the calendar of international days of commemoration because there are so many victims of religious persecution; it is estimated that they number in the hundreds of millions. Religious persecution is on the rise worldwide; this has led many more millions to suffer from discrimination. The very painful reality is that victims of veritable genocide...

July 17, 2020

The European Union’s Special Envoy for promoting the Freedom of Religions and Belief outside of Europe will soon be appointed. Maragaritis Schinas, vice-president of the European Commission, announced the Office's re-establishment in a tweet on July 8.

The announcement brought to a close what had been at times a very lively debate.

The president of the European Commission originally decided not to appoint somebody in the role of advisor to her in t...

July 8, 2020

The previous religious envoy was influential in securing the release of the Pakistani Christian, Asia Bibi, from a death sentence in 2019.

Calls are growing for the European Union to reinstate its Special Envoy on Religious Freedom, after the post was abolished by the new Brussels Commission under Ursula Von Der Leyen.

“In some countries, religious oppression has now reached the level of genocide,” said Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg,...

June 23, 2020

Seven years ago, the EU Guidelines on freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) were adopted by the Foreign Affairs Council. Today, the FoRB community celebrates this informally as ‘EU FoRB Day’ and civil society take this opportunity to call for the renewal of the mandate of the Special Envoy.

This past April came and went with no decision by the Commission on the future of the mandate of the Special Envoy on Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) outsi...

June 6, 2020

The following questions were addressed: What is the current state of the art of the missions of Special Envoys? What is the role of Special Envoys in the context of t​he pandemic? What is the future of Special Envoys? How is the Covid-19 crisis impacting Freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) in the world? Will it eventually change FoRB as we know it?

May 18, 2020

The UK All-Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) urges the European Commission to renew the mandate of the Special Envoy on FoRB outside the EU.

Dr Ján Figel was appointed the European Commission’s first Special Envoy for the promotion of FoRB outside the EU, following a resolution adopted by the European Parliament in February 2016.

The mandate has served as a focal point for promoting FoRB outside the EU...

April 18, 2020

“The arrest of these individuals amount to an outrageous assault on Hong Kong’s freedoms, the rule of law and autonomy guaranteed under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. I had the privilege of meeting Martin Lee last year, and I know that none of these individuals arrested could in any way remotely be regarded as radicals or ‘rioters’ – indeed they are highly-respected internationally-renowned establishment politicians known f...

April 17, 2020


The theme I wish to explore briefly is the relation between human dignity, religious freedom and current corona virus pandemic. Evidently, medical situation in the world is critical in many countries. It will take time and make serious impact on economies, on social situation and on human, interpersonal and international relations. Our world will change.

Each crisis in history left repetitive lesson: We can get out of crisis to the new perspectiv...

April 17, 2020

How is this global emergency affecting our concept of human dignity? How can we ensure that restrictions to civil liberties that we accept for our collective safety respect human dignity and human rights?

April 12, 2020

EU Freedom of Religion and Belief (FoRB) policy: Considerations on Ján Figel‘s final report by Alberto Melloni, professor of History of Christianity at the University of Modena-Reggio and Chair Holder of the Unesco Chair on Religious Pluralism and Peace for his university and the University of Bologna

Struck by the scourge of COVID-19, grappling with the most unexpected and drastic rethinking of the industrial and macroeconomic para...

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© 2019 Ján Figeľ

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