In most European countries, hate crimes are spoken of in terms of Human Rights and particularly their violation, whether by individuals or, in some cases, European governments themselves. The following is some key information regarding religious rights in Europe.
The Universal Declaration marked the first occasion on which an organized community of nations made a declaration of human rights and fundamental freedoms. It sets forth the human rights and freedoms to which all men and women, everywhere in the world, are entitled.
The international human rights instruments adopted by United Nations bodies and most European countries since 1948 flow from the principles articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Whereas the Universal Declaration imposed a moral obligation upon all nations, in 1953 the European Convention on Human Rights came into force, making it a legal requirement that States protect human rights.
In 1976, two Covenants came into force which, like the European Convention, carry the force of international law. These are the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Along with the Universal Declaration, these treaties comprise the “International Bill of Human Rights.”
Under the ICCPR:
Article 20 prohibits incitement of hatred against another or others because of their religion, race or nationality.
Article 27 protects members of ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities from being denied the enjoyment of their own culture.
Freedom of Religion, Country by Country
A Short Summary Of Thirteen European Countries And The Degree Of Protection That Each Gives To Freedom Of Religion.