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Bias against members of other religions or beliefs
Bias against individuals on the basis of religion or belief can take various forms. The extent and nature of attacks motivated by bias against a particular religion or belief are influenced by a number of factors, including the minority or majority status in a given territory, the level of recognition of particular religious or belief groups in a given country, or political and media focus on these groups at a particular moment.
OSCE participating States collect varying types of information, which is then reported and presented under the heading of this bias motivation. For some states, the number of cases reported here may cover all hate crimes committed with an anti-religious bias (including anti-Semitic or bias against Muslims). In other cases, hate crimes motivated by anti-Semitism or bias against Muslims are reported under specific bias categories and, thus, not included in the overall figure for crimes committed with an anti-religious bias. Some participating States report only crimes committed against Christians. As a consequence of these differences, understanding the data presented under this bias category requires caution, as comparisons based on the numbers of cases alone may not be accurate.
In its fifth report on Denmark, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) recommended that the police take hate motivations into consideration in cases of vandalism targeting religious sites.
The Human Rights Council, in Resolution 31/16, expressed concern over violent attacks motivated by anti-religious bias, targeting individuals belonging to religious minorities, as well as religious places, and recommended that states prevent, investigate and punish such acts.