7-December-2012 -- Vatican Information Service |

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The Right To Religious Freedom In The Osce Area

Vatican City, 7 December 2012 (VIS) - Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, spoke at the twenty-ninth meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), which took place in Dublin, Ireland on 6 and 7 December.

The archbishop mentioned that "among the fundamental freedoms, the right to freedom of religion figures prominently for the Holy See. The OSCE has always emphasised the positive contributions of religious communities to society. In this sense, the activity of the OSCE has ensured that public debate gives space to viewpoints inspired by a religious vision in all its dimensions, including ritual, worship, education, dissemination of information and the freedom to profess and choose one's religion".

"In fact, the rights associated with religion are all the more in need of protection if they are considered to clash with a prevailing secular ideology or with majority religious positions of an exclusive nature", he continued. "The full guarantee of religious freedom cannot be limited only to the free exercise of worship, but has to give due consideration to the public dimension of religion, and hence to the possibility of believers playing their part in building the social order".

"With the increase of religious intolerance throughout the world, it is well documented that Christians are among those most discriminated against, even within the OSCE region. In spite of the commitments undertaken by participating States in the area of religious freedom, in some countries intolerant and even discriminatory laws, decisions and behaviour, either by action or omission ... deny this freedom", he added.

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