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Europe

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Articles   News Database   Organizations   Reports/Views - Governmental   Report/Views - Other   
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- Articles -
Secular Cult ControlOff-site Link TIME article: "European Governments Search For Ways To Contain The Growing Influence Of Religious Sects Without Endangering Freedom Of Belief".
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- Profile / European Union -
Secular The Changing Face of EuropeOff-site Link CNN In-Depth Special
Secular Inside EuropeOff-site Link The BBC's guide to live inside the European Union.

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- Organizations -
Secular FECRISOff-site Link Fédération Européene des Centres de Recherche et d'Information sur le Sectarisme (European Federation of Centers of Research and Information on Sectarianism)
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- Reports/Views - Governmental -

Topic Issue: Illegal Activities of Sects
Note: The Council of Europe has an advisory function only.

Secular Jun. 23, 1999 Activities of sects: more informationOff-site Link Short item in the June 1999 edition of "The Europeans," the electronic newsletter of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly.
Secular Jun. 23, 1999 Illegal activities of sects in Europe: The Assembly gives priority to prevention Off-site Link Press Release regarding the recommendation adopted by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly.
Secular Jun. 22, 1999 Illegal Activities of sectsOff-site Link The recommendation adopted by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly.
Secular Apr. 13, 1999 Illegal Activities of SectsOff-site Link Report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, of the Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly. (Doc. 8373).

Summary
Whatever the beliefs held by certain groups of a religious, esoteric, or spiritual nature, one should only consider the activities carried out in the name of these beliefs.

Freedom of conscience and religion is guaranteed by Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights. However, the activities of groups of a religious, esoteric or spiritual nature must be in keeping with the principles of our democratic societies.

Information is of prime importance and must be directed in particular towards teenagers within the framework of school curricula. The protection of the most vulnerable members of society, in particular the children of followers of groups of a religious, esoteric or spiritual nature, is another priority.

Therefore it is recommended to support the creation of national or regional information centres and non-governmental organisations for the victims, or the families of the victims, of religious, esoteric or spiritual groups. Finally the creation of a European observatory, to make it easier for national centres to exchange information, is called for.

Secular Apr. 20, 1999 Opinion on the ReportOff-site Link by the Social, Health and Family Affairs Committee of the Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly.
Secular Apr. 21, 1999 Opinion on the ReportOff-site Link by the Committee on Culture and Education of the Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly.

Topic Issue: Religion and Democracy
Secular Nov. 11, 1998 Religion and DemocracyOff-site Link Report of the Committee on Culture and Education of the Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly. (Doc. 8270).

Summary
There is a religious aspect to many of the problems that European contemporary society faces such as intolerant fundamentalist movements and terrorist acts, racism and xenophobia, ethnic conflicts.

Politics and religion should be kept apart. However, democracy and religion need not be incompatible and can be valid partners. By tackling societal problems, the authorities can remove many of the causes of religious extremism. Education is the key way to combat ignorance, stereotypes and misunderstanding of religions.

The Assembly feels that governments should also do more to guarantee freedom of conscience and religious expression, to develop education about religions, to encourage dialogue with and between religions and to promote the cultural and social expression of religions.

Secular Appendix to the ReportOff-site Link Includes a) Proceedings of the Colloquy held in Antalya, 8-9 September 1997, and b) Proceedings of the Hearing held in Paris, 8 December 1997
Secular Jan. 27, 1999 Religion and DemocracyOff-site Link Recommendation (1396) based on the report of the Committee on Culture and Education

Secular Dec. 11, 1997 Sekten in de Europese UnieOff-site Link (in Dutch) Report by the European Parliament's Commission on Sects in the European Union
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- Reports/Views - Other -
Secular Apr. 23-24, 1999 Common Declaration of the European ConferenceOff-site Link adapted by the European Federation of Centers of Research and Information on Sectarianism (or Fédération Européene des Centres de Recherche et d'Information sur le Sectarisme, FECRIS) at its Apr. 23-24, 1999 conference in Paris
Secular CommentaryOff-site Link Anticult activist Roger Gonnett's report on the conference
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