The Parliamentary Assembly remains concerned about the situation of the persecuted Christians in the Middle East since the adoption of its last Recommendation 1957 (2011). If it is not properly addressed, it could lead to the disappearance – in the short term – of Christian communities from the Middle East, which would entail the loss of a significant part of the Christian religious heritage of the countries concerned. The number of attacks on Christian communities rose worldwide, as well as the number of trials and death sentences for blasphemy, which often affect women.
One recent event was particularly tragic: on 2 November 2018, unknown armed assailants attacked a bus transporting a Coptic Christian pilgrimage in the vicinity of the Saint Samuel monastery, some 260 kilometres south of Cairo. According to the church, at least seven people were killed and 14 injured, among them women and children.
The Assembly should raise its voice against these tragic facts against Christian believers in the Middle East and call member States of the Council of Europe to act, especially focusing on the most vulnerable groups like women and children. As a follow-up, the Assembly should express its serious concern about the issues addressed in its Recommendation 1957 (2011).