SPs Auditorium, UIN News Online – Europe has two different multinational organizations with different functions and objective, among them are European Union and Council of Europe. The first organization was formed in 1992, aimed to achieving political and economic agreement, while the second organization was formed in 1950, aimed to contribute the acceleration of European integration in the fields of Human Rights, Democracy and the Supremacy of Law.

This was conveyed by the Universite Catholique de Louvain (UCL) Belgium, Prof Dr Louis-Leon Christians during his presentation on National Seminar that organized by UIN Jakarta Post Graduate School (SPs), entitled “Religions in Europe: Social Diversity and Fundamental Rights Convergence”, Monday, (4/10) at SPs UIN Jakarta Auditorium.

According to Louis, Initially, both organizations have different agendas regarding to religious affairs. The Europe Union marginalizes the religious affairs on its various consensuses. On the contrary, the Council of Europe makes religious affairs as an important factor.

As time goes by, he continued, The EU, which initially did not take care of the Religious affairs, and now, they include religious matters into the treaty on the functioning of the European Union.

“It is written on EU regulation, year 2008, and article 17, which consisted of 3 verses. First, the Union respects and does not prejudice the status under national law of churches and religious associations or communities in the member states. Second, the Union equally respects the status under national law of philosophical and non-confessional organization, ant the third, recognizing their identity and their specific contribution, the union shall maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with these churches and organizations,” he said.

Louis also explained that religious regulation in each European countries can be categorized into three forms. First, a country that separate religion and state affairs like French. Second, a country that has an official religion such as the UK (Catholic) and Greece (Christian). Third, a country that separate religion and state affairs but still accommodate the rules as necessary like Germany.

“Pluralism and democracy are the two main foundations when we talked about religion in the Europe. The believers can freely practice and develop their religious institutions based on these two foundations,” he explained.

Also present in the event, the Director of SPs UIN Jakarta Prof. Dr. Masykuri Abdillah, accompanied by Prof. JM Muslimin, as well as civitas academica of SPs UIN Jakarta and some invited guests.

In his remarks, Masykuri appreciated the seminar; He also expected that this seminar can add more knowledge to all participants on religious phenomenon that happened in Europe today.

“Religious study in Europe always related to secularization issue, European secularization is constantly experiencing ups and downs depending on the ongoing political dynamics. In fact, there are many religious civilians in Europe,” said Masykuri. (usa)

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