Religious Persecution in Flanders: In Ghent you can do anything but publicly practice the Catholic faith?

Religious Persecution in Flanders: In Ghent you can do anything but publicly practice the Catholic faith?

Open Letter to the Mayor of Ghent

Dhr. Mathias De Clercq
Botermarkt 1
9000 Gent

Ghent, 7 July 2023

Last 28 June the TFP Student Action Europe group, formed by Catholic students from Ghent and several other cities and countries, promoted another public recitation of the Rosary, this time in the Sint-Baafsplein of Ghent - Belgium.

On this occasion the intention of the rosary was to make reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for the fact that the month of June, always dedicated to Him, has been co-opted by the LGBT movement for the promotion of marches claiming the draconian imposition of the homosexual agenda in schools, with sexual indoctrination, so-called "transgender" bathrooms, among other measures contrary to Catholic morality and the innocence of children.

In order to avoid misunderstandings, we previously sent an e-mail to the City Hall, which answered that no authorisation was necessary for the recitation of the rosary, and that we could do it at any time, including the distribution of flyers and the use of banners, as long as these were not tied to public posts (e-mail exchange from 10 to 15 June).

We arrived at the place around 2.30 p.m., we were 11 young men, identified by a red cape and the emblem of our movement, and for the first few minutes everything went smoothly. Half an hour after our presence, two police officers approached us, asked for the document of the person responsible and said that everything was in order. The public received the act with normality and there was no disturbance.

Thirty minutes later, 15 police officers arrived in an intimidating manner (photos and videos available), asking for the document of each of the participants and saying that we had to stop the Rosary, ignoring the article 19 of the Belgian constitution [1] and article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) [2] which guarantee the freedom to publicly manifest a religious conviction.

We asked the police officers several times if we were doing something wrong, and if so, to tell us exactly what. We repeatedly showed them the emails from the City Hall assuring us that it was our right to pray the rosary in a public square and to distribute explanatory leaflets, without prior request for permission. The police officers, confused, eventually replied that there was nothing wrong, but that the mayor had ordered our rosary to be stopped.

Meanwhile, a few miles away, in Coyendanspark, an LGBT march called for, among other things, the confiscation of businesses and the imposition of a socialist state that would impose its agenda on everyone in the most radical way possible [3].

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In the face of these facts, the question to the Mayor of Ghent, Mr. Mathias De Clercq, is: why double standards? Why ALL the privilege to the homosexual movement, and INTIMIDATION to young Catholics?

If the same policy is continued, it will become apparent to the whole of Ghent and all of Flanders that the law on freedom of expression and the public practice of Christianity are effectively banned. Is that what you want?

We end this open letter asking the Sacred Heart of Jesus to have pity on our poor society, and not to allow this Religious Persecution under the pretext of human rights to reach our homeland.

Seppe Van Loo - Student of History and Catholic Religion at the Arteveldehogeschool in Ghent.