Declaration of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on religious freedom, 21 January 2011
Strasbourg - The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe unanimously adopted on Thursday, 21 January 2011, a Declaration on religious freedom:
“As recent tragic events have shown, individuals of all religious confessions are increasingly victims of discrimination and aggression – sometimes at the cost of their lives – only because of their religious beliefs.
We, the 47 member states of the Council of Europe, strongly condemn such acts and all forms of incitement to religious hatred and violence. Freedom of thought, conscience and religion is an inalienable right enshrined in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and guaranteed by Article 18 of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and by Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, of which the Council of Europe is the custodian.
There can be no democratic society based on mutual understanding and tolerance without respect for freedom of thought, conscience and religion. Its enjoyment is an essential precondition for living together.”