BELGIUM - Animal Welfare?

Arno Froese

The European Court of Human Rights decided a case, The Executive Committee of Muslims of Belgium and Others vs. Belgium, that required balancing religious freedom and animal welfare.

The Belgian provinces of Flanders and Wallonia had passed laws requiring that all animals slaughtered for human consumption must be stunned before being killed. Muslim and Jewish communities sought to overturn the legislation, claiming that it violated their freedom to slaughter animals in the manner prescribed by their dietary laws.

Previous applications to the Belgian Constitutional Court and the Court of Justice of the European Union were unsuccessful, so the applicants turned to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), a court of the Council of Europe, to which all European countries, except Belarus and Russia, belong. All members of the Council of Europe must ratify the European Convention on Human Rights.

According to Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion ... and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance.” This right is qualified, however, by a second clause: “Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.”, 20 March 2024

Arno's Commentary

Officially, there are 50 recognized states on the continent. The European Court of Human Rights now apparently includes animals. This tendency is not surprising, due to the many active animal rights groups and the general public’s adoration of animals. 

The power of the European Court is quite impressive. The 27 EU member nations, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, are members of the European Free Trade Association. The Schengen Agreement has opened the border between all member countries, allowing more than 400 million people to travel across Europe without border controls. shows over 15 million foreign-born people residing in Germany, followed by France with 8.6 million, Spain with 7.3 million, and Italy 6.1 million.

In the meantime, Ukraine is considered a potential candidate for EU membership. According to Wikipedia, there are nine additional candidates: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Turkey, and Ukraine. It is no longer a question of if but when they join. 

That, as we can see, is Europe’s future is one continent, one set of laws, and finally, one government. The rest of the world will have to follow in its footsteps, as aptly demonstrated by the EU’s motto, “United in diversity.” The Bible speaks of the last world empire: “These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast” (Revelation 17:13). No wonder the Antichrist is called the “beast”; that is, an animal wholly dedicated to the service of the great deceiver, Lucifer.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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