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I General Introduction

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Chapter Summary

The origins of this book lie in the increasing interest and importance of questions concerning the manner in which the freedom of religion and belief is to be enjoyed in Europe today. Issues concerning religion and belief have arisen in different ways at different times, reacting to the overall social and political context and the responses to this has differed greatly from one country to another. The influential international jurist, Alberico Gentili, writing shortly before the onset of the 30 Years War that tore apart central Europe and, through the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 gave birth to the modern system of European statehood. The European Convention on Human Rights provides the premier means through which these aims are to be achieved within the community of European states as formed by the Council of Europe.

Keywords: European Convention on Human Rights; religious symbols



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