The Center for Development of Civil Society (CDCS) has received with serious concern the news that Serbian government discusses on the abolishing Ministry for human and minority rights and Ministry of Religion such as separate ministries.
The intention to put the affairs regarding human and minority rights under jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice is damaging in many aspects.
The CDCS warns that the situation regarding protection of minority rights is not such that managing a possible crisis in relations of potentially opposed groups could be conferred to the ministry which is rather inefficient by the nature of the area it comprises, such as the Ministry of Justice. CDCS reminds that the experience from the period of frequent ethnic incidents in 2003-2005 showed that it is necessary for the Ministry for Human and Minority rights to exist out of these reasons.>>>
The Centre for Development of Civil Society (CDCS) acclaims the Recommendation of the Provincial ombudsman addressed to the Provincial Secretariat for Regulations, Administration and National Minorities to distribute the funds from the state budget not only to traditional, but to other registered churches and religious communities as well.
This Recommendation is a response to the application submitted on 1 August 2009 by the CDCS in which the ombudsman of the AP of Vojvodina was asked to initiate a procedure of annulment of the open competition due to religious discrimination; the competition was for distribution of the funds to churches and religious communities active in the territory of AP of Vojvodina and was published by the Provincial Secretariat for National Minorities on 20 July 2009. On this occasion the CDCS asked the competition rules to be changed so that “non-traditional” churches and religious communities could enter the competition as well. The application stated that the competition rules violated the provisions of article 6 paragraph 1 of the Law on Churches and Religious Communities which guarantee equality before the law and independency from the state for all churches and religious communities. The competition rules also violate article 6 of the Law against Discrimination which says that direct discrimination exists if due to their personal characteristics (…) a person or a group of persons is put or could be put in an unfavorable position by any act, action or failure to act.>>>
Regarding exercising the rights from article 18 ICCPR
Regarding the content of paragraphs 355-363 of the Second periodical report on application of the International covenant on civil and political rights concerning the freedom of religious beliefs with regard to exercising the rights from article 18 of the International covenant on civil and political rights, the following objections should be made:
1. Regarding the data „about the number of believers“ established in the most recent census (in 2002 and stated in paragraph 363, it should be said that the census did not include beliefs (or faith), but the confessional affiliation. It should be added that the question of religious beliefs was optional and was answered only after the census takers’ warning that it was not obligatory to answer this question. It should be borne in mind that the hate speech which could be heard in the media as well as among agnostics and of atheist, had a certain influence on answers that many believers of minority churches gave to this question.
2. Regarding the paragraph 1 of article 18 it should be said that the right to change the faith was prevented by discriminatory practice of the Ministry of Religion which refuses to register religious communities because of their missionary activities. In three and a half years of application of the Law on Churches and Religious Communities (adopted in 2006), only 12 out of about 170 religious communities existing in Serbia were registered.>>>
Snežana Ilić, programska koordinatorka, učestvovala je, na poziv Evropske komisije, od 22. do 26. novembra 2009. u Briselu na seminaru Increasing the impact of CSOs action. Organizator ovog četvorodnevnog seminara bio je Biro za tehničku pomoć i razmenu informacija (Technical Assistance and Information Exchange Instrument) TAIEX – posebno odeljenje u okviru Generalnog direktorata za proširenje EU (DG Enlargement). U radu seminara je učestvovalo 48 predstavnika OCD iz 7 zemalja Zapadnog Balkana i Turske. Predavači su bili eksperti iz institucija EU (European Commission, DG Enlargment, EIDHR) i velikih evropskih „kišobran“ organizacija civilnog društva (European Disability Forum, European Women Lobby). Radionice su se ticale veština zastupanja, vođenja kampanja za podizanje svesti, komunikacionih strategija… Prvog dana učesnici su imali priliku da predstave rad svojih organizacija.
Snežana Ilić, program coordinator, was invited by the European Commission to take part at the seminar Increasing the impact of CSOs action in Brussels from 22-26 November 2009. The organizer of this four-day seminar was the Bureau for Technical Assistance and Information Exchange Instrument – TAIEX, a special department within DG Enlargement. The seminar was attended by 48 representatives of CSOs from 7 Western Balkans countries and Turkey. The lecturers were the EU institutions experts (European Commission, DG Enlargement, EIDHR) and big European “umbrella” civil society organizations (European Disability Forum, European Women Lobby). The workshops were focused on advocacy skills, leading campaigns to increase awareness, communication strategies… On the first day the participants represented the work of their organizations.
Kada je 31. oktobra 1517. Martin Luter istakao zahtev za reformisanjem Rimokatoličke crkve započeo je jedan tok razvoja iz koga je izrastao protestantizam koji danas u svetu okuplja nekoliko stotina miliona vernika i, pored katoličanstva i pravoslavlja, treća je grana hrišćanstva. Dan reformacije je dobra prilika da se sa uvažavanjem prisetimo značajnih doprinosa protestantizma savremenoj civilizaciji. To je, pre svega, moderan odnos prema vremenu, novi oblici trgovine i privrede, racionalizacija društvenog života i neposredan odnos čoveka prema Bogu.
Svim protestantskim vernicima u Srbiji Centar za razvoj civilnog društva (CRCD) čestita njihov veliki praznik, Dan reformacije, 31. oktobar.