The Atlas considers the rights of RBMs in relation to five policy areas: RBM rights in public schools; spiritual assistance in prisons, healthcare facilities and the army; legal status of RBMs; religious/belief symbols; and marriage and family. Data on three other policy areas (denominational schools, media, meeting and worship places) will be uploaded in the coming months.

The key findings resulting from the whole research are shown below; those pertaining to each policy area are shown on the specific page.


1.  On the whole and with a few exceptions, the international standards on RBM rights are respected, but this does not mean RBM rights are promoted.

2. Promotion of RBM rights is uneven and often selective. In many countries some RBMs enjoy more rights than others which are in a comparable position, and this raises questions about equal treatment.

3. In no country does an RBM enjoy the same rights as the majority religion.

4. With the exception of Belgium, belief organizations are always at the bottom rung of the ladder of rights promotion. 

5. Christian minorities generally enjoy more rights than non-Christian minorities. 

6. RBM rights are promoted more in countries with a Catholic or Protestant majority while equal treatment of RBMs is better guaranteed in Protestant majority countries. The gap between majority and minority rights is also smaller in countries of the latter group. 

7. RBM rights are more promoted in countries which regulate their relations with RBMs through bilateral agreements; on the other hand, these countries score rather poorly in the equal treatment index.

8. Promotion and equality tend to move in opposite directions. Frequently, the more the rights of RBMs are promoted, the greater the difference in treatment between them. 

9. RBM rights are better secured in countries whose legal systems ensure a good level of promotion of their rights, a satisfactory degree of equal treatment, and a small gap between majority and minority rights. Sweden is the only country that scores better than average in the P-, E-, and G-index.  


1. States should avoid differences in treatment between majority and minority religions if such differences are not justified by the goal of ensuring forms of protection and promotion of RBMs required by their vulnerable status or unique characteristics.

2.  States should abstain from a selective approach to minority issues that leads to protecting and promoting the rights of some RBMs more than those of others. Differences in the protection and promotion of these rights that have no objective justification constitute discrimination.

3.  States should strive to narrow the gap between the rights of the religious majority and minorities.






1 promotion of rights
0 respect of international standards
-1 restrictions of rights
1 low equal treatment of RBMs
0 equal treatment of RBMs
0 no gap between religious majority and minorities
-1 high gap between religious majority and minorities
Hungary and Estonia: no majority religion