Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
Holy See (Vatican City)


Annika Nolte

Cite as

Topic A: Countering terrorism and violent extremism

With deep concern the Holy See notices the rising number of terrorist attacks. While most fatalities occur in the states of Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria the fear of those acts of violence in Europe has increased since the incidents in Paris, Brussels and Nice. The attacks had different backgrounds but always focused on harming and killing the innocent. The recent one on a peacefully praying community during mass in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray on July 26th of this year shows that churches, considered places of refuge and security for centuries, cannot be deemed safe anymore. We therefore acknowledge the responsibility that comes with welcoming millions of visitors and pilgrims each year. Violent extremism concerns us at two levels: As the head of the Roman Catholic Church we are worried for the safety and the lives of our faithful. As a member of the international community we strongly condemn terrorism and violent extremism as a crime against God’s creation and all human beings irrespective of their ethnic and religious background.

Taking into account this unique status the Holy See has taken measures to protect the safety and sanctity of every human life in the face of terrorism. F...

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