Very few things raise as much feelings as religion. It really shouldn't. A religion is a human construct, an organization, like a company, made by humans, for humans, due to human reasons in human context. Let us not mix it with faith, which is personal. While it can inspire all forms of creative expression in near infinite ways, it can never live as words.

Christian Europe vs freedom of religion Europe

There's reason enough to say that Europe has a strong history with Christianity and it plays a part in defining our identity. In fact, there's a lot to read about and when we do, we soon also realize that Christianity is not one color that defines us but many. We have a Christian rainbow of various denominations here. In some things we agree between our various colors, in some we don't. It's healthy to remember that while there is strong Christian tradition in Europe, it is not a single, universally agreed upon story. Even in the most basic things like marriage, priesthood, church services or family values, our traditions offer many answers, often in conflict with each other. If we are wise, we can learn of ourselves when we learn where we differ with each other.

Legally, EU provides freedom of religion and on the basic level, things are acceptable. We should look at eliminating archaic laws protecting the feelings of God, but in general, we have useful ground rules. While the law works, many things are very different in practice. During the asylum seeker crisis in 2015-2016, both those who were strongly for asylum seekers and those who were against, only saw them as members of their religion. We did not grant them the freedoms which we so highly claim to value in the EU. We still don't - not with asylum seekers, not with locals.

While religious organizations have done much good, there are far too many cases where it has lead people astray. Our solution is always more religion. Let's work with the church, let's work with the mosque. How about realizing that in some cases, it would be best to help that person out of religion? We claim that people are free to choose any religion or no religion, but we don't offer this to the people that most need it. This can perhaps be most strongly seen in how we deal with people who wish to denounce their religion and leave it alltogether. We rarely support them, even though this is the time when an understanding voice could do the most good.

Show a good example

I would suggest to any candidates and political leaders that while the legal framework is in an acceptable condition, every practices have not caught up. You should all provide a good example in accepting freedom of religion for everyone, no matter where they come from and where they are headed. Don't see people as their religion but as people. Don't see religion above the law, but as the human built organizational construct it is.

Let faith guide peoples hearts, but don't let any organizations guide legal precedent. Remember, in this day and age, many non-religious organizations also fuel the needs of peoples souls. If a non-religious organization does good, why should it be treated differently than a religious one doing the same?