The EU appoints special envoy for freedom of religion or belief
After being vacated by Jan Figel in November of 2019, the position of Special Envoy for the Promotion of Freedom of Religion or Belief for the European Union was finally filled earlier this month by Christos Stylianides.
Stylianides brings a wealth of experience to the role and has a robust understanding of humanitarian aid and other issues related to religious freedom. He previously served as an EU Commissioner in the areas of humanitarian aid and crisis management.
While the appointment was announced with calls for the continued advancement of religious freedom, critics voiced concern over the delayed appointment.
Reports across the globe highlight the growing trend of persecution. In their annual reports the Department of State and the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom both highlighted the rise of persecution around the world, including in India, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Russia, and elsewhere.
Persecution of religious minority groups around the world is one of the leading drivers of humanitarian need as it limits social mobility, economic vitality, and educational achievement.