Can’t we all just get along? Europe is a diverse continent which has always hosted a panoply of different religious (and non-religious) beliefs and attitudes. But our shared history is also marred by efforts – from the Crusades against “infidels” and “heretics”, to the European wars of religion in the 17th Century, to the Holocaust in the 20th – to suppress or exterminate one religious group or another.

In France, the solution has been to impose a strict separation between church and state. In 2010, France became the first country in Europe to ban the full Muslim veil in public spaces. France has also seen legal wranglings over Christian symbols in public places, such as in 2016 when courts ordered a town in eastern France to remove a statue of the Virgin Mary from a public park. Is the solution just to keep religion private? During the 2017 election campaign, the candidate for the anti-immigration Front National, Marine Le Pen, proposed a complete ban on all religious symbols in public places.

What do our readers think? We had a comment sent in by Raluca, arguing that “All religious symbols should be prohibited in public”. This is obviously a provocative suggestion, and one unlikely to find much popular support. However, what if we take “public” to mean “state-operated institutions” such as schools, hospitals, government buildings, etc.? That is not so different from the position taken by the French government, which strictly enforces secularism and laïcité.

Should religious symbols be banned in public places? We asked Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from all sides of the political spectrum to stake out their positions on this question, and it’s up to YOU to vote for the policies you favour. See what the different MEPs have to say, then vote at the bottom of this debate for the one you most agree with! Take part in the vote below and tell us who you support in the European Parliament!

Radical Left
Martina Anderson (GUE-NGL), Member of the European Parliament:

Well, I think that religious symbols can be a source of comfort to people of different political faiths. I don’t believe that it is necessary to ban them in public, but I do believe that religion should be left to the theologians, and legislators should develop law. And there needs to be a separation of powers between church and state, and that includes the role and influence of religious institutions. I differentiate between religious institutions, and the religious symbols which some people will wear with pride to express who they are and what they believe in.

Klaus Buchner (Group of the Greens), Member of the European Parliament:

Liberal Democrats
Yana Toom (ALDE), Member of the European Parliament:

Centre Right
Elmar Brok (EPP), Member of the European Parliament:

I do not believe so. I think it’s different if there is a negative impact on other people, but to simply demonstrate which religion you are must fall under the right of free speech. And I have zero problem with a Muslim female teacher wearing a headscarf if she is prepared to do the work in the classroom across the board. We must both be able to demonstrate our own religious beliefs as well as accepting also the religions of others.

Morten Messerschmidt (ECR), Member of the European Parliament:

I would say that I believe there is a great difference between the symbols of different religions. Whereas in Christianity we have a very tolerant approach to dealing with our symbols – we don’t have the same feelings, for instance, depicting our gods as you might have in Islam. Therefore, there is a difference in approach. The burka gives a very different symbol than wearing the traditional Christian cross. So, my personal view is that it’s the Muslim symbols that contain a political consideration and therefore creates the major problem. But I would certainly refrain in any way from deciding what sort of regulation there should be in any other country but my own. I think this is a matter entirely up to the Member States to decide.

Gilles Lebreton (ENF), Member of the European Parliament:

Ostentatious religious signs must be banned in public services whenever necessary to enable them to function smoothly: this should be the case, in particular, for hospitals and universities. This is already the case, since a 2004 law, in public schools, middle schools and high schools. On the other hand, religious symbols (such as Christmas crèches) should be allowed in public places when they correspond to a tradition.

Curious to know more about the status of religious symbols in Europe? We’ve put together some facts and figures in the infographic below (click for a bigger version).

IMAGE CREDITS: (c) / BigStockPhoto – Zwiebackesser – PORTRAITS: Anderson CC / WikiMedia – David Iliff, Post CC / WikiMedia – Frankie Fouganthin, Lebreton CC / WikiMedia – Polomartini, Brok CC / WikiMedia – Claude Truong-Ngoc, Messerschmidt CC / WikiMedia – Elgaard
With the support of:


Who do YOU agree with on this issue?


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273 comments Post a commentcomment

    • avatar

      You wanna bring down churches and historic sites?

    • avatar

      if they want to stay churches, they need to pay for themselves. If not, they should be converted for use, saving the building, losing the magic

  1. avatar

    it will only be a matter of time. across europe, youth in their 20’s and younger do not give a s***e about religion, unlike their parents and grandparents.
    as they grow, the last bastions of religion like churches will disappear and europe will be completely godless.

    • avatar

      Whether that’s a good or a bad thing is completely subjective, because you don’t need god or religion to be a good person. Being ‘godless’ used to be inextricably synonymous with being immoral, but thankfully nowadays it isn’t.

    • avatar

      Not all young people are atheist! There are many orthodox who care about traditions and religion. I don’t go to church every Sunday morning, but still, I do care about my religion!

    • avatar

      Ashley godless? Islamic is more likely. Turn your back on Christianity, Islam takes over. As its doing and at a fast pace too. You will have to bang your head to the floor when that happens as with Islam you have to love and adore God, no arguments!

    • avatar

      Charles yes, you are right about islam growing. in my country of france, it is quite popular with the immigrants.
      i think that the godless native french will stay in power of government and eventually call all religion bad and try to ban it

    • avatar

      Search the basis , I mean the idea on which europe ‘ s been born and constituted and you’ll find it’s been founded on cristian idea . So you are saying nonsense . If the cristian basis would be banned , Europe will be banned .

    • avatar


    • avatar

      Fortunately, thete is a half of Europe were we still have open Churches, crowdy with People in their twenties and younger, on every service. Catholicks,Orthodox and Protestantów alike!

  2. avatar

    Lets say that present ones should be left for their cultural and historical heritage. But we should avoid erecting new ones.

  3. avatar

    what is a ‘public place’? Banned from the streets? no. Banned from the schools and govt offices? yes.

    • avatar

      Very good question to begin with what is public space and who controls it. Public facilities that are government owned or operated is one interpretation but then there is the land and township itself. The government controls the development permitting but what rights to control do citizens have can vary from country to country. In the US the government cannot exclude religious structures from being part of urban planning.

  4. avatar

    Churches and mosques are public places in my country should we start demolition program ?

    • avatar

      No they are not in reality

    • avatar

      They sit on public squares without fence and religious symbols are visible from kilometers in some cases…

    • avatar

      Du alter Saftsack

  5. avatar

    Why? The question hides a little dose of intolerance…

  6. avatar

    No , i have no chosen religion but i do believe in God .

    • avatar

      I’m the same it’s really easier to love God in peace i support none but i love God … it’s just ridiculous the carry on and all in the name of new world order why can’t people see this .

  7. avatar

    Why? Love thy neighbour as yould love yourself, love even thy enemies. Strong message too bad we need more of it in our lives to understand, love ourselves as we are, wanting to be the best version of ourselves.

  8. avatar

    Yes. Not the middle age anymore

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      Yes, not the middle ages – we are however, unofrtunately in the ‘new dark ages’…

    • avatar

      What about their right to practise their faith has decreed by international, National and EU law and who will you victimise next because you don’t agree with them ?

  9. avatar

    NO. El que quiera religión sea cuál sea en su casa ó en sus parroquias, sinagogas, mezquita y demás… A y que se lo paguen ellos. Yo soy ateo y con mis impuestos mantengo a la mafia católica del Vaticano.

    • avatar

      Usted no es ateo, ni sabe el significado de ser ateo. Pues un ateo de verdad, es respetuoso con las creencias de los demás, y usted no lo es. Usted, es un pobre ignorante, un ser despreciable que no sabe nada de nada. Respecte usted todas las religiones y creencias, si quiere ser un buen ateo. No insulte usted al Vaticano. Un ateo, siempre respeta las creencias de todas las religiones

    • avatar

      Usted, no mantiene a nadie!

    • avatar

      Y si mantengo con mis impuestos a la iglesia católica señora María.
      Y me hablas de que no soy ateo por que no respeto las creencias de la gente y me vienes a decir que soy un ignorante?… Jajaja dónde se te quedó el amor al prójimo? Jaja
      Anda y vaya a dar sermones a otro lado.

  10. avatar

    What do you mean by “public places”? If you mean “public institutions” only as an Institution, I can’t see the problem with banning them, as long as we are secular states, if you understand by “public places” every single public manifestation of religion made by individuals in public places, of course, I’m totally against banning them, as long as we should support freedom of speech and freedom of faith. If some person wants to wear any religious symbol, whether if he/she works in a public or private Institution, as an Individual, he/she has the right to do it.
    We should make the difference between Public Institutions and Individuals working/staying in Public Spaces. And some people also need to learn the difference between “Public Institutional Places” and “Places opened to the public”, a Public Space is for us all, so as Individuals we can manifestate/wear whichever religious feeling/ symbol.
    You can’t ban people’s feelings and beliefs.

    • avatar

      I agree with everything you said except wearable religious symbols. If I have to show my face when entering government institutions, supermarkets, airports, etc, no one can be exempt from the same obligations because they happen to believe in a god, whichever that might be.

    • avatar

      Or I’ll start going everywhere with my colander as a proud pastafarian..

    • avatar

      I agree, but burqa is not a religious symbol, It has been banned even in some muslim countries, as Kazakhstan they are planning to ban burqa in public places. Burqa is not a religious symbol, and even if it were one, in that case security prevails.

  11. avatar

    Define “public space”. If you mean in a state building, than yes, there should be no religious symbols, because the state is religiously neutral. If you mean just in the streets or the main square, than no. This is the space where people enjoy their personal/private time, in which they have the right to practice their religion.

    • avatar

      That would be hard for many states as their constitution are in line with Christianity and so is the judiciary system

    • avatar

      Paschalis But their constitution is secular and recognises the neutral role of the government towards religions, not?

    • avatar

      Who’s constitution is secular?

    • avatar

      Doesn’t your constitution recognises the separation between church and state?

    • avatar

      No, and that applies with many states in Europe when Christianity is embedded into the constitution

    • avatar

      The Belgian one, written in 1831, recognises the separation between church and state, as it should be.

    • avatar

      Wim, we have been coping quite well the way it is. Well I can see Belgium is coping well, 541 days without a government until a coalition was formed and still then nothing can be decided. As a Greek let’s say I rather stick to the way it is.

    • avatar

      We would like Wim a more cosmic state for Greece but it is unfortunately governed by medieval mentality. Unfortunately our constitution does not separate these both. I am glad to know how early your people understood that. It is a hope for Europe.

    • avatar

      Yes Paschalis, that has everything to do with the fact that the constitution recognises the seperation between church and state 🙄 (sooo of topic)

    • avatar

      Στέργιος Ζαρκογιάννης It was a very liberal constitution for its time. Of course with some flaws. But the future of Europe is secular. Neither Christian nor Islamic. I recognise, as an atheist, that our history and culture is soaked in Christianity, and there is nothing wrong with it. But also, as an atheist I wish that my state judges me on my qualifications and results, not my religious beliefs. Unfortunately, there are still some minor issues, but in comparison to other regions, we cannot complain.

  12. avatar

    What would you do with the Sistine Chapel, turn it into a migrant centre ?

    • avatar

      A mosque if christians keep giving their back to their religion. An empty space is being filled with something else and that is islam.

    • avatar

      Dont you like to get a little bit of your own medicine?

    • avatar

      Alfonso Martìnez Montoya Troll away comrade, the opinion of a barking mad socialist nothing to me :)

  13. avatar

    NO… and it is not debatable. Christianity is part of not just the European culture but its a European identity. Stop this liberal agenda crap please!

  14. avatar

    That would require demolishing many historic buildings. I think any proposal in that direction needs to consider that problem.

    • avatar

      You mean ‘National’ historic buildings don’t you ?, left to the pointless EU they will just deface them with their idiotic flag & slogans .

  15. avatar

    I would rather concentrate on banning poverty, homelessness and hunger first.

    • avatar

      Banning lol… It’s not like an option to go into poverty

    • avatar

      Kirstie, There are 3 simple rules to avoid poverty.

      1. Finish school with a ‘useful’ qualification.

      2. Get married before you have babies (or just don’t have babies outside of marriage, practice safe sex)

      3. Get a job

      99% of people following these simple rules will not end up in poverty. Sorted :)

    • avatar

      Ivan, tell that to all the military veteran’s currently living on the streets in the UK. You spout such crap daily Ivan but you never actually look at the statistics. Most homeless people are men who’s marriage has ended badly, they’ve lost their jobs or have left the armed forces. Try doing some research before you comment online and make yourself look foolish.

    • avatar

      Paschalis that’s exactly the point. How many people fall into poverty and hunger because of circumstances that are out of their control?

  16. avatar

    would be the same as banning certain political viewpoints and limiting free speech

    • avatar

      No thanks. Greetings, an atheist

    • avatar

      Atheists are welcome as well on our continent.It’s a matter of personal choice in the end and I respect that.Greetings,a Romanian Orthodox Christian!

    • avatar

      Wim but even as an atheist you cant deny the influence religion has in arts , architecture , musicology etc the past 2000 years. would you ban them too eventually?

  17. avatar

    If Christian symbols disturb Islamic newcomers, then they should go to Muslim countries.

  18. avatar

    Freedom is the ultimate good. I don’t see any reason to forbid people to express themselves. I have friends that are Muslim atheists and I am a Christian orthodox myself. we coexist because of mutual respect not because we do not wear religion symbols or do not talk about religion. The solution is teaching respect and encourage such a culture not suffocating free will and expression. Supposing of course that we want to live in a free democratic Europe.

  19. avatar

    Dear EU, we , Europeans, are not religious anymore. but THEY are, the settlers from other continents. SO NO MORE RELIGION OF ANY KIND IN PUBLIC. that must be totally private

  20. avatar

    Religious freedom is the corner stone of freedom of speech. If you ban religious symbols you have to ban all symbols political and apolitical.

    • avatar

      No, your religion symbols will also be included in the proposal that is being debated :)

  21. avatar

    I’m not in favour of banning anything but frivolous lawsuits and higher taxes.

  22. avatar

    I’m an atheist but seeing what is happening behind the scenes with the Muslims my answer is a RESOUNDING NO

  23. avatar

    If you ban religious symbols:

    You will alienate all the majority Catholic and Orthodox nations.
    And then those two groups should leave the EU most definetly.

    Who will stay in this culturalMarxist, postmodern EU?
    a couple countries.
    Your population will be reduced by 100s millions.

  24. avatar
    catherine benning

    Should religious symbols be banned in public places?

    Religious symbols meaning what exactly? Why are you not more explicit?

    European religion and the foundation of European ethics is based in the teachings of Christianity. Why would it come up that Christian religious symbols should be banned? We as European should be applauding the Christian doctrine and what it gave us as a foundation for goodness and civilisation. It’s the way we like it. The fact that Globalists want to do away with the teaching of Christianity whilst spreading the cruel teaching of Islam is grotesque. What is the purpose? Be open and transparent about your search for consent..

    Religions, other than Christianity, should only be touched on in our society. Simply to educate on world practice socially. All and any people who wish to live in Europe or the UK must be asked to renounce their faith if it does not adhere to the practices of Christianity. It is intolerable that a modern Christian society should put up with tribes who mutilate females and impose on our Christian society symbols of that horror. Remove the symbols of religion that is not the basis of our tolerance and acceptance, unless that religion change their belief and practice to comply with our own.

    Feel unjust does it? Why? Feel intolerant does it? Why? What teaches us that that is intolerance?

    The symbols must be banned are those that force tiny girls and women to subjugate themselves. That force girls to be genitally mutilated. Cultural practices that demand women or daughters be killed if they wear a T Shirt. Any religion that promotes the mutilation and death of children the way certain African groups adhere to must likewise be denied acceptance in Europe as a place for their residence. Rape of uncovered females as the ‘right’ thing for a society is not acceptable in a tolerant Christian society. And it has to be taught in no uncertain terms that this is our way of life. Any other leads to incarceration.

    These practices must deny a person from taking up residence within Europe if they concur with them as right for their way of life. Any school that teaches such practices must be closed down forthwith and reopened teaching the understanding of cultural unification belonging to the nation they have chosen to adopt. Ours being Christianity.

    How about those onions? Or, is it only the symbol of the cross and crucifixion of the Christ we must ban? Why did you not add pictures of all other religions in your question? Could it be those religions are not tolerant of such suggestion? And, if that is so, why would we want them in or around us in any shape or form?

    Wake up for Christ sake.

    • avatar

      @ EU Reform- Proactive

      The picture and information in your link to births in the UK is massaged news. It suggests the majority of births are indigenous white. The opposite is the truth. The births in the UK are in the majority black and ethnic. Hence the increase in the number of births over recent years. Coudenhove-Kalergi prolifically at work. The EU was founded on the expansion of indigenous genocide.

      A population that does not have a British heritage owes no loyalty to Britain or its institutions. This makes them easier to control and manipulate. This is what the ruling elite of the EU want and is the real reason for immigration.

      Here is a very rare expose on this fact that government wants to keep hidden from the population for fear of backlash. It covers one area in London, but, if I was to add to it the result of the boroughs it would be very similar. In this it tells around 80% of children in the area are of black or ethnic heritage. And this census was taken in 2011. It is far higher in 2018.

      Here is how they massage the figures to keep us all confused and break it down to represent a distorted figure.

    • avatar
      EU Reform- Proactive

      Hi Catherine,

      yes, according to UK Gov. Statistics- -one can deduct that the majority in your country today are Asian/British and only ~a third are of “indigenous UK” origin.

      It is still a reflection of the whole UK because of its historical Asian & global connections. Aggravated by today’s EU “imposed” un-orderly, unwanted & illegal influxes- which seem unstoppable- highlighting an EU political paralyses.

      Any multicultural mix obviously influences the overall statistical outcome in many spheres. That is the present and justifiable criticism of Merkel’s unorganized acts “welcoming all”- by importing/dumping a variety of different cultures (permanently) into our quasi homogeneous and sovereign countries. The consequences are foreseeable by many- but ignored & denied by most pc EU politicians.

      A once “orderly” continent is being unwittingly transformed into disorder (partly by design) with higher overall costs and less benefits to all- by order of the EU.

  25. avatar
    EU Reform- Proactive

    Should political symbols, corporate billboards or any public lies etc. equally be banned in the EU? EU’s “Post-Christianity”- Quo Vadis?

    “A clear and innocent conscience fears nothing” (Elizabeth I)

    THEY never cease to amaze attempting to regulate everything- not even the Pope’s “ethical” voice- shame!

    A clear majority (76.2%) – according to Wikipedia- STILL identify as Christians in contrast to DE’s ~60%. Wrong? Is it the efficiency and influence of the EU’s moral destruction within Europe?

    That should signal the end of that debate- if one adheres to “democratic” principles. That is obviously not the case in the EU. Why not ban the 76% having a conscience & the choice to seek solace as one feels fit?

    “In 2012, the highest ever number of births outside of marriage was recorded in the European Union, at 40%.” Is that EU progress or regress? Cary on- without any consequences?

    Embracing cohabitation, moral regression, radical secularism- everything in order to further EU-ism ? Embarrassing the 76% on favor of the “EU’s higher political but dubious ethical consideration?

  26. avatar

    Is that a new sinister scheme of trekkies or of siths? Next you ll want to ban jedis. Why? They oppress your human rights?

  27. avatar

    Stop your stupid questions Europe has à Christian History….christianity désignéd our villages our City our philosophy out way of life…will thé stupid treators eurocrats Ask us to changé our names our villages names our feasts…..? Why Europe IS working at out destruction

  28. avatar

    Such a boring argument, is there a specific reason for destroying one’s heritage? Are the newcomers offended? Maybe they should go back to their homes then.

  29. avatar

    Try not to go too far. Offence is taken not given. Molly coddling all peoples perceptions is tiresome for all humanity. We are all different. Time to accept this truth.

  30. avatar

    Au contraire, the religious symbolism was and hopefully will be the keystone of the european civilization.

  31. avatar

    No. Expressing one’s religious or non-religious beliefs via symbolism is part of freedom of speech.
    Also, forcing everyone to keep their beliefs and religious symbols private is certainly not going to help solve cultural and religious differences between people. It would only mean we are trying to bury these issues instead of solving them.

  32. avatar

    ..and what about our Queen? she represents, and is is the Governor of the Church of England, her crown has several crosses on it….or do we just lock her up in Buck palace and not let her out anywhere public?

  33. avatar

    why should they be? If there’s religious freedom it should be allowed to be expressed in public. Otherwise it’s not freedom of religion, you’re enforcing a dominant ideology of areligiosity

    • avatar

      I agree, but there is a huge difference between an individual expressing their faith, and a government entity doing so. The first is an important freedom, the second an tool of oppression and alienation which is cause for concern even in its mildest forms.

  34. avatar

    Europe should keep it cultural heritage.The destruction of crosses is the work of jihadist terrorists and stalinists.

  35. avatar

    Absolutely not! Not everyone is an atheist, deal with it! It goes against the virtues we have established as a society among those are the freedom of speech and freedom of religion. These virtues should not be bound.

    Another stupid proposal by this forum.

    You cannot keep the convictions of people behind closed doors. It is part of education, politics, communication, day to day life and so many other fields. It is time people treat religion and personal convictions with the respect it deserves and stop acting allergic towards it.

  36. avatar

    What are we going to do with all the churches, cathedrals, statues (i.e. David) that pepper European cities, not to mention all the works of art that clutter our museums and galleries?
    Give me a break will ya.
    Besides the Acropolis, the Pantheon and tens of other priceless edifices were also religious symbols of their day and still are now.

    • avatar

      Recognize them for their cultural and historical significance and preserve and utilize them as such? Its not unheard off you know.

    • avatar

      Exactly but ‘ban religious symbols’ is impossible and smacks of the Taliban blowing up Buddhas. They are part of our heritage and define our culture.

  37. avatar

    Yes, also must control all religion teaching to comply with democratic rules and principles

  38. avatar

    Religious symbols should not be banned in public places, but public authorities should not meddle in religious symbols, unless for artistic or historical purposes. It is up to religious authorities to display their symbols in religious places. For instance, a Christian cross has no place in a state school, while a Reformation monument has a significant place in Geneva.

  39. avatar

    Addressing public expressions of religious belief reveals two types of democracy. The first type reflects one scared democracy, recognizing that it is unable to manage different or afraid of event discrimination and therefore prohibits the manifestation of religious beliefs in public places and public documents and public use of symbols, that only tolerates the private area. The second type represents a truly free democracy that feels strong to manage the different, not afraid of any conflicts and allows the public manifestation of religious beliefs in public documents and use in public places symbols and clothing, because it ensures that there is no discrimination, either legislative or administrative. This second type of democracy is consistent with Christian teaching.

  40. avatar

    what exactly meaning religious symbol? “Noterdam Catherdal” in Paris or Basilica Catherdal in Brussels are religious symbols in public areas too. can you remove them? absolutly not. there is difference between religiouse act in public places and religious symbole in public places. a religious act in public place is means violation on others rights but the existence of a religious symbol in public place is meanse ploralism and freedome. it is better to banned any kinds of religious act in any kinds of public places. instead banning religious symbol, lets banned the cruelly religious imposing acts inside the community which is suffering millions of humen. lets banned putting religious neams on new born childeren. do not let parents to impose their religious or political beliefs on their childeren. having a neam is the most basic right of a heuman and parents break it from the first day of their childeren lifes. I am one of the victims of this cruelly acts and suffering every moment.

    • avatar

      Wouldn’t expect something different from a person that has the antifa flag on their pfp

  41. avatar

    People should be free to express themselves. The state itself should be neutral. People should be free to express themselves however they wish as long as it does not cause any harm to others.

  42. avatar

    The answer is No,we are not so -if any-religious,but we like to keep our roots,as a means of defense against to the imported ( by organizations like you) fanaticism and craziness.Finally,I provoke and advice you,to start this campaign first to Middle East,and if and when it succeeds,then come to our continent.In the meantime,cool down and be less foxy.

    • avatar

      Why should we base what we know to be right and ethical on what theocrats in a different continent do? I hold us to a much higher standard then the lowest denominator.

    • avatar

      Maarten ,yes,our standars and ethos are ours and not compairable to anybody’s.BUT…we are also free and logical enough,so that a. we have common sense and instict of survival,b. WE and only WE ( and not organizations of dark and unknown origin and financing like this) decide how we like to live,away of false dilemmas and cheap philosofical traps.

    • avatar

      That’s exactly what they try to do,using cheap sophistical traps.

  43. avatar

    Of course not.Europe have an christian ancient culture. We will not erase that for the sake of socialists or other religions!

    • avatar

      how about for the Humanist and Enlightenment heritage that has proven to be more viable and vital to personal freedom and the ability to live a full life?

    • avatar

      I am a supporter of free speech and thought.

  44. avatar

    If we talking about moments
    Nope it’s our cultural past and antiquities
    Actually for new ones we can talk about it
    But the old ones should stay as the are

  45. avatar

    No it shouldn’t. What are we becoming a totalitarian state ruled by a populist sentiment of the moment? Caution and respect should be exercised both ways

  46. avatar

    Νο οf course cause arepillars of our common european identity like the customs and laws and they do no harm what so ever.Furthermore they do exist in most european flags,so no need to band things that bond us

  47. avatar

    These problems never exited untill muslims started to take over europe with their domanding of shareh law and burqua ..who answered yes means no burquas and head scarfs must be used in public because there religious symbols too . So lefties it works both way don’t be hipocrits

    • avatar

      It has been an issue since the enlightenment. Arguable even before then at the schism of the Catholic church. Wearing a hajib or burqua does not imply any type of support or encouragement beyond that individual, making it a personal expression where no government should have a say over unless there is a clear and consistent reason to limit that fundamental human right.

    • avatar

      Sorry wearing a hijab is not personal expression its their religion.funny when one says to them (you must take you hijab off for a photo Id or some other reason they say no its my religion ,now in this case it becomes a personal expression .You see it contradicts it self.its used for their own comfort depends on the issue

    • avatar

      The problem is as we see very often Islam is (religion , law, culture all mixed together this is why they are able to play this game with eu’s democracy. Where as our law and religion are two different things.And we have a choice of religion they don’t .try and explain they can take it off if they want to,you won’t see one of them do it.any way i don’t know why now in this period this question has to be addressed????if before it never had any importance

    • avatar

      Maarten human right in their counties doesn’t exist there’s only Islamic Fascism.(do as the coran (law)says or face the consequences

    • avatar

      Even if some arab countries are a bit more elasticated

  48. avatar

    There is a difference between what a state does and what an individual does. The state should not impose religious symbols on its citizens who may be of various religious beliefs. Such symbols should be banned from schools, courts and other public places. On the other hand religious symbols cannot be banned on individuals who wish to show their belief, like wearing crosses or king David’s star or burga etc. They have the right to express themselves and their beliefs. Similarly, religious symbols should not be banned from places where the religious citizens are permitted, like churches, synagogues, mosques etc.

  49. avatar

    Let’s ban all. Let’s give birth to the homo marxisticus-leninisticus.

    • avatar

      I like your irony .

  50. avatar

    For clearly historical reasons religious symbols (Christianity in all it’s forms in Europe) must not be banned. Excluding Greece and Italy, Europe’s history begins with the spread of Christianity. It’s a unifying factor to overcome the ethnic diversity of indigenous people of Europe. Why should a Portuguese be in a union with a Polish? What common do they have? Stepping on the same religion is a fine start.. (since financial unifying process is a mess in the hands of US)

  51. avatar

    Absolute garbage, you need to widen your reading material. Tolerance is a force for good and we should respect all

  52. avatar

    Religions must be out of state structures and public policies.
    But it should be free in any other situation.
    Like any other private club or institution.

    • avatar

      Why, are you offended by the presence of religious symbols?

    • avatar

      I am not, I just want it out of gobern and public policies.
      I do not care if cristians, muslims, budists, bahais… wear simbols that identify them as beliebers.
      But no religion can claim to be the official one in a democratic country.

    • avatar

      I come from a city with four big religious comunities plus the ones without it like me.
      And we all live as good neighbours.

  53. avatar

    Only racist, intolerant and xenophobic people like you should be banned from public, no matter where they come from or if they are religious or not.

  54. avatar

    A Nation without its Religion , isn’t a Nation. Let mainland Italy take down all their statues , burn their churches and monastery, disband all of religious emblems out from their Museums.
    Let’s see that goes! , try to tell it to Pope Francis.

    • avatar

      You think that the whole nation has to be religious and of the
      same religion.. Very interesting indeed.

  55. avatar

    in every country-member of EU rules a national parliament. it is in its authority to decide such issues. for Greece the answer is NO

    • avatar

      Don’t get bent out of shape Aroulis! As it’s said in my village!

    • avatar

      there is a good argument for considering secularism vital in effectively having freedom of religion, one of the cornerstone human rights. That makes it relevant at an EU level.

  56. avatar

    It is a good argument. Religion symbols or clothing should be ban from public spaces. There should be designated spaces for religion purposes. This is extremely essential for my country, Greece, that has suffered the most from Christianity and in contrast with the rest of Europe never experienced the renaissance due to the Othomanic occupation. It is this essential for Greece within a European prospect to ban the Christian symbols if it is to become again a cosmic state. We are thus looking forward to your call.

    • avatar

      Can’t blame the Ottomans, the Orthodox church rules with a rod of iron, total inflexibility, I live in Cyprus and the church has only just agreed to alow cremation for Foreigners. It is too involved with everyday life, pronouncing on things that shouldn’t involve them in a modern democracy, in Northern Europe we are thankful for the reformation and, in the UK, for Henry the eighth and Oliver Cromwell!

    • avatar

      Αν δεν ήταν η Εκκλησία και οι ιερείς του Χριστού φίλε όλοι οι Έλληνες θα γινόμασταν τουρκαλάδες.Απόδειξη είναι ότι ο μισός πληθυσμός της Τουρκίας και βάλε δεν προέρχεται από Τούρκους προγόνους αλλά από προγόνους λαών που είχε υπο την επικράτεια της η Οθωμανική αυτοκρατορία. Τέλος η Ελλάδα είχε την Ορθοδοξία δε χρειαζόταν τον φτιαχτό Διαφωτισμό των Ευρωπαίων που πρόσφατα νομιμοποίησαν και την κτηνοβασία πέρα από τις άλλες “προοδευτικές” ιδέες τους.Γι’αυτό να είσαι περήφανος που είσαι Έλληνας κάτι που το χρωστάς σε αυτούς που κατηγορείς ,διότι αν ήταν στο χέρι των “Διαφωτισμένων” φίλων μας θα είχαμε χαθεί προ πολλού από προσώπου Γης! Και κάτι άλλο,ψάξε να δεις πως οι Βυζαντινοί εφεραν το Διαφωτισμό στην Ευρώπη του Μεσαίωνα διωγμένοι απο την Κωνσταντινούπολη και τότε βλέπουμε αν θα έχεις ξανά τις ίδιες αντιλήψεις!

      If it weren’t for the church and the priests of Christ, man, all the Greeks would be turk. Proof is that half the population of turkey and put does not come from Turkish ancestors but from ancestors of peoples who had the ottoman empire under its territory. Finally, Greece had orthodoxy. It did not need the contrived enlightenment of Europeans who recently legalized and bestiality beyond their other ‘Progressive’ ideas. So be proud that you are Greek something you owe it to those you blame, because if it were in the hands of our “enlightened” friends we would be long gone from the face of the earth! And another thing, look to see how the byzantines brought enlightenment to the Europe of the middle ages deported from Istanbul and then we see if you will have the same perceptions again!

    • avatar

      Michael Roberts dude, you are free to return to northern europe. if not, you are welcome to our lands but you have to respect our ways

    • avatar

      As for Michael it is true and you understand the darkness of the orthodox but the Othomans played a role even to the contemporary trading ways of Greek orthodoxs, which have to be separated from Hellins. By the time Europe was moving away from the Christian darkness the Muslim religion made the mentality of the orthodoxs even worse towards the madness of Abrahamic dogma. As for the Queens and Kings you refer to I’m deeply democratic and against Monarchy. What the Kings did for me was that they simply stamped the will of the people. As for the rudeness of some people here we welcome ambassadors that can make us better.

  57. avatar

    Imagine if the question was.. should sexuality be kept private? There would be an outrage.

    • avatar

      Why what?

  58. avatar

    Jesus represents peace love sympathy tolerance. Ban Jesus you ban peace love and sympathy. And then we wonder why the western word is going the way it is. I say bring it on more.

    • avatar

      Unless you allow the same expressions for Satanists, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Heathens, what you are advocating for is oppression of other faiths, and not those values.

    • avatar

      It is debatable. If the religion doesn’t preach the above no. Look I’m not over the top Christian in the traditional sense. But really if you study these religions without a religious fervor you will realize which religious “people preached peace.”. The old testament like the Koran preach intolerance a ND violence. Satanism well……. Buddhism is also peace full I believe Hinduism is too..

    • avatar

      This argument is absurd, so peace, love, kindness and understanding didn’t exist before Christ?? Buddhist countries are some of the most peaceful.

    • avatar

      I agree with you and Buddhism.

  59. avatar

    Of course not..Christianity is a sector of European Civilisation..together with roman law,Enlightenment and grecoroman culture is an ingredient of what has today become Europe…

  60. avatar

    Yes, in government buildings and offices. Government officials and employees should be refrained from showing any religious symbol while discharging their duties.

  61. avatar

    Why are you so offended by religious symbols and DEMAND them to be “taken down” or “removed” from public spaces? Some nations were created from religion and even include it in their Constitution. Doesn’t make sense, someone please explain this thought, what is to gain.

    • avatar

      Why everybody has to live in the middle ages? Why are you so offended by the fact that there are many people who are not relegius? Religion is for the churches, not for the public spaces?

    • avatar

      Why having a religion is living in the middle ages?People with no religion just dont pay attention to these symbols. Im not offended that someone is atheist and declare it,why would that someone be offended by my beliefs and symbols?Its like saying “im a vegan so all the restaurants in the world should close”(aw wait,they do say that)

  62. avatar

    It’s more than obvious that It’s still easy to misuse religion to keep people under control

  63. avatar

    Σε οποιον δεν αρεσει η ευρωπη οπως ειναι, να μεινει στη χωρα του.
    To anyone who doesn’t like Europe as it is, stay in his country.

  64. avatar

    No, because respecting others means you accept them as they are, you let them express themselves freely, in both private and public spaces-as long as they won’t do any harm. How can a person i.e. wearing a cross or specific clothing be a threat to anyone?

  65. avatar

    I dont find religious symbols offensive at all.
    Such generalizations are not acceptable since every country has its own traditions

  66. avatar

    Yes, they should be. The state should be neutral and all-inclusive.

  67. avatar

    Basically, the people commenting here cannot tell the difference between a religious symbol and a place of worship…

    I guess, a more meaningful question would be, should churches be forced to remove crosses from their exteriors.

    You also mention above that banning religious symbols from public places would include banning female veiling. Is that, strictly speaking, a religious symbol though? Does the Koran actually say that women should wear a veil? It would be interesting to hear from a (Muslim) theologian, the opinion of whom should have been asked as part of your previous debate on the hijab.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @ Karolina

      From your response it appears you are not following the gist of the thread. Not the others commenting on here as you suggest.

      DE is trying to gauge the opinion of the general public as a trend toward what is being injected into the population at large. The response to these questions as a cross group tells them if they are getting the kind of altered perception they seek. In other words, if their indoctrination is working in the way it is expected to and hoped for. And if yes, well and good, if not what must be done to alter that perception to suit the political agenda.

      As a perceptive person, you must be aware what is taking place across the western world in this moment of history and that it is Global manipulation, founded on a completely false premise. The mystery, as with all these world events in the past, is how they manage to get such widespread collusion in such destructive aims. This kind of manipulation is of course is learned in the playground. A clique becomes a gang. The gang becomes all powerful bullies working together on an unseen agenda. And fear in the rest becomes totally dominant. Very few individuals stand against such pressure. From this scenario came the Holocaust.

    • avatar

      I have said it before that this is not an honest debating page. Certain views and specific individuals are being promoted whereas posts that counter them are not published…

      I do feel though that a lot of it is genuine incompetency and ignorance in such matters… I don’t believe that there is a grand agenda. I don;t believe in conspiracy theories generally. However, when an advanced society welcomes large numbers of people from less advanced societies, it is to be expected that the former will suffer at least some social setback.

  68. avatar
    Daniel Toth-Nagy

    I read all over texts and watch the videos, and no one of these politicians I can choose for: ban all religious symbols in public places. Who represent my views?

  69. avatar

    Banning anything is short visioned solution with dire consequences in the future. History has proven this over and over again. The solution should always be full acceptance. Acceptance of any religious symbol, totem, etc, and acceptance of people to fully reject and insult the symbols and totems. What should be rejected and considered illegal to become is to insult the individual. Problems don’t rise from disagreements, they rise from escalations of disagreements where individuals get personal. Once, people can accepts total rejections of ideas (even religious ones), but be educated to enough to separate the idea from the people who believe in them, then we have progressed as humanity. After all, a human is the sum of many contradicting ideas and beliefs, not just one.

  70. avatar
    David Gorring

    In France perhaps the debate is more alive that in other countries because secularism is written into the constitution. This means that the state and the church remain independent, each accepting to remain neutral. The Republic guarantees the freedom of all religions; everyone is free to practice the religion that they wish. Naturally, this impacts on the question of religious symbols in public but it is fairly clear in France that no religious symbols are allowed in state-operated institutions like schools, hospitals etc. And that includes the wearing of veils or crosses in school. When shortly ago a Christmas crèche was put on display in a town hall it had to be removed. The difficluty lies in what may or may not be allowed in public.
    Europe was cemented culturally and politically for more that a thousand years by Christianity even if there were conflicts at times . The Vikings when they came here and finally became Christian Normans because it brought them harmony and political power in France. So, where do we draw the line on banning religious symbols in public places? All over there are crucifixes, some dating back to the pilgrimages of the Middle Ages. It is not just a question of religion but of our European cultural heritage and the very basis of our culture. Yes, we must respect our more recent arrivals of different religions and accept that they have their place in our societies but we must also remember that more than 2,000 years of Christianity cannot just be brushed under tha carpet.

  71. avatar
    Madi Carlick

    I think that people should be able to wear religious clothing/items because they are devoting their life to this religion so they should be able to wear what their religion states they should wear.

  72. avatar
    Peter Gatt

    I am not sure why this fuss on religious symbols. If we are an inclusive society with freedom of speech then I see no problems with religious symbols. I believe that there is a much sinister motive behind removal of symbols instigated be an atheist front. Why not pick on public exhibits of immoral adverts and adverts which do harm to our children and society.

  73. avatar
    Elise Kveen


    • avatar
      Fredric smith

      um there is a problem with that statement. There is no sound proof there is no god. and instead there is the opposite. science and wisdom both point to a creator. something cant come from nothing, it must come from something.

  74. avatar
    Fredric smith

    um there is a problem with that statement. There is no sound proof there is no god. and instead there is the opposite. science and wisdom both point to a creator. something cant come from nothing, it must come from something.

  75. avatar

    In my opinion everyone should be able to dress how he or she wants. I think that religious symbols should be banned in public instiututions – central government buildings, city halls, classrooms in schools etc. It is a major problem in Poland.

  76. avatar

    We should all be allowed to clearly show religious symbols if we want to, but schools and public places should instead clearly show they are everyone’s. Public places should be inclusive and garantee everyone’s uniqueness is protected.

  77. avatar

    No. I’m not religious and I’m against such bans. It’s just another kind of dictatorship – the exact reverse of mandating that everyone must be religious. I’m against face-covering burqas and niqabs though.

  78. avatar

    when we talk about city halls or schools, yes

  79. avatar

    No way! Perhaps some minorities would like that.. What about the freedom of religion?!

    Some minorities would replace religios symbols with LGBT flag, which is ridiculous.

  80. avatar

    What you really want to ask is if Christian symbols should be banned. That to make room and not offend the new Europeans that have more rights then natives. There is no place for religion in school. But why ban, which the left loves to do, ban ban ban, religious symbols in public spaces? So this would mean the end of many traditions which at least in my country is backbone of our traditions.

    • avatar

      Thanks, you put in words what I was thinking.

    • avatar

      Tony Thanks for the comment! Exactly my mind!

  81. avatar

    No, we should not ban the Christian symbols because in many European nations Christianity is a significant part of their History and Culture. So, the people want the Christian symbols in their State.
    A flag makes you part of a certain ethnic group and the Cross makes you a part of a certain religious group. Both are parts of our Identity as a nation.

  82. avatar

    Aris keep the cross on your neck not in on walls of tribunals, schools, hospitals or police offices

  83. avatar

    No….Christianity is part of our culture …..look at european art and monuments,….most have some relationship with christianity. Even our laws have religious basis. One does not need to be religious to accept that.

  84. avatar

    it’s their advertising campaigns

  85. avatar

    Should the history of Europe be banned? WHAT A STUPID QUESTION!

    • avatar

      So you’re saying Ancient Greeks, Romans, Celts and Vikings were not European?

  86. avatar

    We are Christians. This is our culture. Dont mess with the people, to do what a minority wants. We will be very angry

  87. avatar

    Lets start with banning far left and far right. Then banning minorities to decide for majorities, then ban unelected european officals. After that we will have a very peace loving open societies all over Europe…this is a disgusting way of mass manipulation. Asking a question to an audience that is for over 50% religious. Pushing the bounderies to fulfill the path already decided. Since banning is in progress already, its just these damn people we want to influence forgetting about culture, religion to satisfy the one thing we were against in the first place communism and nazisism. Far right is projected european wide but it is the marxistic deep european agenda which is pushing. Thats the real cancer of europe. Far right and far left to die once and for all to unite differences and not trying to be one and the same is the real European dream. Uniting Europe were it matters education, health, and living standard…all these nonsense questions like the one you have given now is just another empty marxistic path, people in Europe do not want and for their voices to be heard they get nationalist or even turn to populist since it is very hard to conquer the far left cancer in our educational and political and media powered establishment…just as we are as nations with history and cultural roots uniting for a better living standard and no more wars in europe…that is more than enough Europe, thats all people want!!

  88. avatar

    NEVER! Why this stupid and anti-social mania of banning whatever you don’t like?!

  89. avatar

    No. Christianity is a fundamental part of European culture. If we ban religious monuments it’s like we are denying our culture and our history. Furthermore, banning them will literally improve nothing and will only cause more controversies.

  90. avatar

    No way! It doesn’t matter what religion Europa is. In the first place of the important is separation of church and “state”, important is the equality of every people.

  91. avatar
    Catalin Marius

    EU: Free speech is a fundamental right! Also EU: How about we censor this one, eh? … decide which you want to be EU. You don’t have to be a religious person to stand up for European values.

  92. avatar

    Ban only the signs and symbols carrying people on them

  93. avatar

    Should not be funded by public money and yes should be banned
    Religions is a private matter of evety citizen..we should make effort to de institutionalise faith

  94. avatar

    What’s in place is set; maybe nothing new, which may be discriminatory, but so is the divide between the real issue: rich vs poor because, as we all know: money talks, BS walks.

  95. avatar

    Unreligious prohibitions of human rights in expression should be banned

  96. avatar

    Europe is what it is because of its christianity origins. If we lose that Europe is lost. If muslims have something against that they are free to go in countries with sheriah

  97. avatar

    Europe should not be based on bans, but freedoms :)

  98. avatar

    No , why if they usually hang on the wall since Century ? Yes, in this case all kind of religious symbols or indicate it should be banned in public places.

  99. avatar

    The agnostic MEP wants to cut the roots and history of Europe.

  100. avatar

    What anout all the churches that bring millions of turists everyday in our capitals ?

  101. avatar

    The Thing is we need to change, Jesus is enemy for Europe, shame on you Guys!!!

  102. avatar

    I am a Muslim lady, we don’t make a difference between race, religion, language, color, and we respect every faith. We look at it with a nice view,, just like Rumi.

  103. avatar

    If anti-religion is free, then so should be religion.

  104. avatar

    May be, just may be instead of banning things we should teach each other to accept everyone as they are and stop trying to claim that one or the other of us has a claim on the absolute truth.

  105. avatar

    This is a stupid and dangerous question in the first place. Ask yourself do the Saudis and Iranians and Turks ask their own people such imbecilic questions? Unfortunately only in Europe can these question be asked

  106. avatar

    No of course not.
    There is enough public space to display them all equally.

  107. avatar

    No because Europe is primarily a Christian continent

    • avatar

      false in every sense possible

    • avatar

      @ Riccardo don’t agree with you here. Primarily we are Christians who are pandering to other religions and losing ours.

  108. avatar

    Losing your religion means that your faith in Christ is weak and you are unworthy of being his follower. Everybody is free to believe in whatever he wants. Christ himself didn’t live in a Christian-majority country. Europe is a secular liberal continent. Period!

  109. avatar

    The very question contradicts a fundamental human right. Freedom of religion.

  110. avatar

    No. We can actually live the way we want irrelevant of the religious symbols as we have been doing for centuries… (If these are the questions for Debating Europe, no wonder why there are still people with no shelter, no jobs etc in Europe. We need to remember to keep the meaningful )

  111. avatar

    It depends on what you mean public places… they should be banned from government buildings for sure

  112. avatar

    🤣The great composers like Bach and Mozart (and many more) used religious texts in their music. And their music is performed “in public”. Ok, music is not anything like the statue of Mary (that should be removed from the public park, as the article says), but still… as to Western cultural heritage there are plenty religious references and signs in music, literature, paintings, sculpture architecture … Don’t you think we should discard those as well? They surely are a sort of public symbols present in culture. 🤣 Just trying to imagine what Europe would look like then. Perfectly cleansed from any religious signs, purged from any traces of Christianity!
    Or perhaps they have become so irrelevant for this age (enclosed in museums and opera houses that nobody really cares).

    • avatar

      That is true, but mainly because the catholic church was the biggest financial suporter of the arts in Europe. The best sculptors painters and song writers would always go work for the church.

    • avatar

      Totally agree, undoubtedly money was one of the crucial factors for achieving artistic heights; however, I assume not the only one..

    • avatar

      ou wouldn’t bow your to Michelangelo’s Pietas, wouldn’t you?

    • avatar

      “Every beauty which is seen here by persons of perception resembles more than anything else that celestial source from which we all are come. ”

  113. avatar

    Banned? Not at all! Whole world deconverting back to atheism by education and secularism? Absolutely! Atheism is the only natural state of human beings. The sooner people realise this, the better for humanity!

    • avatar

      atheism is just another religion. It takes more faith to be an atheist than to be a Christian.

    • avatar

      Atheism is a religion just like not watching TV is a TV Channel.

  114. avatar

    Are they planning on banning the EU flag?

  115. avatar

    Definately toned down.
    In multi-cultural societies I don’t see why the state should favour one religion over another. That said, I think the state should be atheist or agnostic – leaving religion to be practiced in the privacy of people’s homes.
    And they should think twice before importing thousands of Muslims with their sectarianism and bigotry – i.e. the homophobes constantly protesting outside Birmingham schools.

  116. avatar

    well then all scandinavia, england , red xross would need to change their flags…

  117. avatar

    No….western culture is based on religion…you have to be a total ignorant to deny it.This question is unnecessary and can only create discord and division

  118. avatar
    Adrian about take down churches and cathedrals..they are also religious symbols😏

  119. avatar

    EU: Free speech is a fundamental right! Also EU: How about we censor this one, eh? … decide which you want to be EU.

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