Is secularism the new terrorism?

“It sounds to me as though secularism could be the new terrorism.”

That remark by Father Aethelwine Richards of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Europe pretty much sums up the sentiments faith leaders and human rights defenders shared at a conference in Brussels on Wednesday.

From left: Bashr Qraishy, Father Aethelwine Richards, Paul Herzog Von Oldenburg, and Jasvir Singh at the Renaissance Hotel in Brussels, Belgium, on Oct. 16, 2013.
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From left: Bashy Quraishy, Father Aethelwine Richards, Paul Herzog Von Oldenburg, and Jasvir Singh at the Renaissance Hotel in Brussels, Belgium, on Oct. 16, 2013. Photo courtesy Bashy Quraishy
This image is available for Web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Richards moderated two panels, which brought together Christians, Sikhs, Scientologists, Mormons, Muslims and more to discuss discrimination against religious minorities in Europe.

The event was originally scheduled to take place at the European Parliament but was recently moved to a hotel across the street. Godfrey Bloom, a member of Britain’s right-wing UK Independence Party and a member of European Parliament, said that several of his colleagues at the European Union encouraged the move because they disapproved of the conference’s organizers and attendees.

“We have intolerance on our own doorstep. The hypocrisy of that place!” Godfrey said of the E.U. in his welcome remarks. READ MORE…

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