The European population is increasingly diverse, which is
reflected in the variety of religious communities. However, people
belonging to religious minorities may face an increased risk of
marginalisation or unjustified limitations on freedom of religion.
Peaceful coexistence between people of different religious and ethnic affiliations
requires consistent enforcement of the fundamental rights enshrined
in the European Convention on Human Rights. In this field, this
applies in particular to the right to freedom of thought, conscience
and religion and the right of parents to provide their children
with an education in conformity with their own religious and philosophical
convictions. The fundamental right of children to education in a
critical and pluralistic manner should also be taken into account.
Council of Europe member States should protect these rights
by promoting reasonable accommodation of religious beliefs of all,
within the limits defined by legislation and provided that this
is not detrimental to the rights of others; they should ban discriminatory
distinctions between majority and minority religious beliefs, and ensure
that children may be exempted from compulsory religious education
programmes that are in conflict with their moral or religious beliefs.