The Permanent Mission of the Holy See to the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) has called for freedom and protection of the media, to uphold “truth, freedom, justice and solidarity in society.” To balance the rights and responsibilities associated with freedom of expression, this Vatican delegation encouraged the media to provide a platform for a wider range of faith-based and political views.

The Vatican statement highlighted that the media must give “a fair and accurate account of religious matters” to allow religious communities the space to publicly express their views. The delegation stressed that it is “not acceptable to hide behind Freedom of Expression as a justification for discrimination, hostility or violence against a religion or its members.”

The Holy See delegation urged States to encourage religious communities to express their faith-based moral convictions, to “allow an alternative voice from the political mainstream to be heard and prevent deeply held moral views from being disregarded or denigrated in the public discourse.”

The internet, especially social networks, are in need of special attention, as they can be used to promote irreverent treatment of religious symbols or provocative material. The Vatican delegation also called for internet service-providers and social networking services to adopt “clear, transparent, and non-discriminatory standards that prevent intolerant and inflammatory behaviour.”

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