Law and Freedom of Belief in Europe, an arduous journey


International Convention

Law and Freedom of Belief in Europe
An arduous journey


Medal of the President of the Italian Repubblic


Under the auspices of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe,
Mr Thorbjørn Jagland



Under the patronage of


Under the patronage of


18 - 19 January 2018
Auditorium Sant'Apollonia
Firenze - Via San Gallo, 25/a


Within globalization, within pluralism, in a multi-ethnic society, with the many exoduses and with the diversities bursting into our society, protection of civil rights and especially the right to believe and the right for freedom, have become a crucial need for the European Community and the national governments that comprise it. In an uncertain and volatile reality, that protection is our duty and the duty of each country, and the only way to make it valid and effective all over Europe and in each and every country of the Union, is to have European laws as well as European justice enforcement bodies.

With the differences of laws and rulings of each national government, with the pressures of anti-liberal forces and sometimes of nonsense politics, it is not an easy task, the one we are entitled to. Within the protection (with no shyness) of freedom to believe and freedom of religion, dwells a hope for peace, for pacific cohabitation and reciprocal acknowledgment which alone turns the different, the ‘other’, the unknown, into a comrade, a friend and a fellow citizen.

In such often puzzling protection stands the creation, as well, of the most truthful identity for Europe and its role amongst the nations and continents.


Thursday, 18 January

8:30 - 9:00  Registration of partecipants

Welcome address

Professor Silvio Calzolari, Secretary of FOB

Dr. Eugenio Giani, President of the Regional Council of Tuscany

Hon. Riccardo Migliori, Past-president OSCE

Hon. Marietta Tidei, Vice-president OSCE-PA

Hon. Luciano Ciocchetti, Former vice-president of the Lazio Region

Dr. Alessandro Amicarelli, President of FOB


I session (moderator Pietro Nocita)

Philosophy and Theory of Law

10:30  Professor Pietro Nocita, Lawyer, he taught Criminal Procedure at La Sapienza University in Rome, which awarded him the Diploma of Benevolence

The Legal Status of Religious Denominations Other Than the Roman Catholic

10:55  Dr. Fabrizio D’Agostini, Lawyer in Turin

Europe, Europe, Europe

11:20 - 11:45 Coffee break

11:45  Professor Roberto Celada Ballanti, Universiy of Genoa

At The Origins of Freedom of Belief: Categorization of Religion and Secularization in the Modern Thought

12:10  Professor Marco Vannini, Philosopher, Florence

What does it mean “To Believe”?

12:35  Professor Marco Ventura, Universy of Siena

Getting more ambitious on freedom of religion or belief. Three opportunities for European institutions

13:00 - 14:30 Lunch-Buffet


14:30 - 15:00pm  Music with Vincenzo Zitello
(Bardic harp and Celtic harp)

II session - Part 1 (moderator Paolo Naso)

Sociology of Religions

15:00  Professor Luigi Berzano, University of Turin

Islam and European Enlightenment

15:25  Professor Massimo Introvigne, Sociologist of Religions, Turin

Religious Freedom Problems in Russia and Hungary: A Case Study of the Church of Scientology

15:50  Professor Enzo Pace, University of Padua

The New Geography of Religious Minorities in Italy. Reasonable Discriminations and Threats to Freedom of Belief

16:15  Professor Stefano Allievi, University of Padua

The new geo-religion of Europe: Islam(s) and Muslims in the European Public Space

16:40  Professor Aldo Natale Terrin, University of Padua

The Religious Freedom according to a Religious Minority

17:05 – 17:30 Coffee break

II session - Part 2 (moderator Massimo Introvigne)

Ideological and Legal Obstacles
to the Right of Freedom of Belief in Europe

17:30  Professor Susan J. Palmer, University of Concordia, Montreal

The “Protective” State and application of France’s About-Picard law

17:55  Dr. Patricia Duval, Lawyer in Paris, France

State neutrality and anti-sect movements, the France case

18:20  Mr Willy Fautré, Director of Human Rights Without Frontiers Int., Austria

Anti-sect Movements and Laïcité: the French-Russian Orthodox Connection

18:45  Mr Thierry Valle, Director of NGO CAP Liberté de Conscience, France

FECRIS, an NGO financed by the French government

Friday, 19 January

III session (moderator Fabrizio d’Agostini)

Ecclesiastical Law

9:00  Professor Germana Carobene, University of Naples

Religious Affiliation and Legal Reaction. Limitations to Freedom of Belief in a Democratic, Pluralist and Tolerant Society

9:25  Professor Nicola Colaianni, University of Bari, former Magistrate of the Supreme Court of Cassation

Freedom of Belief in Europe to the test of immigration and terrorism

9:50  Dr. Alessandro Amicarelli, Lawyer in London, Human Rights specialist

The International Protection of Freedom of Belief: Recent Developments

10:15  Professor Muamar Salameh, University Prince Mohammed bin Fahd, Dhahran

Religious freedom in the Arab countries

10:40 – 11:05 Coffee break

IV session (moderator Silvio Calzolari)

History of Religions and Legal Aspects
of Religious Confessions

11:05  Professor Silvio Calzolari, High  Institute of Religious Studies, Florence

Religious Freedom between Multiculturalism and Globalization: Some Reflections on the Shared Values

11:30  Professor Paolo Naso, University La Sapienza, Rome

Aiming at teaching about religious pluralism as a form of social heritage

11:55  Dr. David Monti, Magistrate at the Milan Court

Freedom Of Religion and Freedom From Religion

12:20  Dr. Nelly Ippolito Macrina, Deputy Prefect, former director of the Division for the Affairs of Religious Groups other than the Roman Catholic of the Ministry of the Interior

The role of the Ministry of Interior dealing with the affairs of religious groups

12:45 – 14:30 Lunch-Buffet


14:30 – 15:00pm  Music with Flavio Cucchi
(classic guitar)

Round Table (moderator Luigi Berzano)

Law and Freedom of Belief in Europe

15:00  Ms Camelia Marin, project coordinator SOTERIA International, Denmark

15:20  Mr Eric Roux, director of EIFRF, France

15:40  Imam Izzeddin Elzir, Minister of Islam in Florence, president UCOII

16:00  Professor Mohamed Bamoshmoosh, Islamic Community of Florence and Tuscany

16:20  Dr. Fabio Fanfani, Consul - Vice Dean of the Consular Body of Florence

16:40  Professor dr. Stefano Grossi, Teacher of ethics and anthropology at the Theological Faculty of Central Italy

17:00  Mr Martin Weightman, director of All Faiths Network, England

17:20  Dr. Faisal Yousif Al Anezi, Director Prince Naif Bin Abdulaziz center for peace and tolerance, Saudi Arabia

17:40  Professor Thierry Vissol, Director of LIBREXPRESSION Center, Rome

18:00  Dr. Andrea Bottai, Soka Gakkai National Councillor

18:20  Ms Rosita Šorytė, President ORLIR, International Observatory of Religious Liberty of Refugees

For press accreditation wtite to (conference[at]freedomofbelief[dot]net).