Recognizing, guaranteeing and promoting fundamental human rights represent, from a Christian perspective, a fundamental commitment, for the dignity, freedom, equality and value of the human being – which is both unique and communion-oriented.
Freedom of Religion as an essential element of the identity of every human being, constitutes a foundation for any democratic society.
As an universal human right, freedom of religion is provided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (art. 18) and by the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (art. 18). Within the European Union, the freedom of religion or belief is mainly protected by art. 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights and by art. 10 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. In addition, the fundamental right to freedom of religion or belief is provided by the majority of the constitutions of the EU Member States. EU member states are required to show neutrality, but not indifference in this regard. Therefore, transposed into national law, the articles quoted above establish both negative obligations, which delineates the interference of the state in the sphere of rights guaranteed by the articles, and positive obligations, in the sense that states must take all the necessary measures for ensuring the protection and the normal course of every citizen’s religious life.
Given the rising number of attacks against Christians, in places around the world where they represent a minority population, several European institutions have issued documents which aim at taking concrete steps and developing coherent politics to promote and defend religious freedom. We hereinafter provide in full text the documents issued by the European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Council of the European Union: