Religious strife and intolerance has begun to rise and exert pressure on religious minorities across Europe.
A very tense situation emerging in this field threatens stability and democracy in Europe, the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe (CoE) Gabriella Battani-Dragoni said at the opening meeting of the Council of Europe on the religious dimension of "Intercultural dialogue - the relationship between culture and religion" in Baku Sept.1.
She said that international awareness regarding the role of religion in society in recent years has increased.
The international community is increasingly considering the role of religion in democratic governance of cultural diversity, the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe said.
She said that in this regard, the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe produced a document entitled "White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue" in 2008. The document emphasizes the need to start a dialogue between religious communities and secular organizations in the countries participating in the Council of Europe.
Religious communities play an important role in this dialogue Battani-Dragoni noted.
"The state should also create conditions for dialogue," she said. "There should be a dialogue between the religious communities."
Battani-Dragoni stressed, "Government should play an important role in inter-religious dialogue, encourage religious communities and non-religious organizations to engage in dialogue."
Azerbaijan during its presidency of the Council of Europe gives a great support to the "No hate speech" project, and in this regard a major international youth event will be organized, the Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe noted.