The report expresses concern about the increase in violent
attacks against religious communities throughout the world. It notes
that there is not only physical, but also psychological violence
against persons and communities because of their religion and it
condemns such violence in unequivocal terms.
The Parliamentary Assembly has consistently drawn attention
to the importance of upholding freedom of conscience and of religion
as stated in Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights
and in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Member States of the Council of Europe are encouraged, inter alia, to reaffirm that respect
for human rights, democracy and civil liberties is a common basis
on which they build their relations with third countries and to ensure
that a democracy clause, incorporating religious freedom, is included
in their agreements with third countries.