Research projects




 Religious Minorities in the Euro-mediterranean Space (ReMinEm)

Preventing discrimination and persecution. Patterns of inclusion of religious minorities in the Euro-Mediterranean area

The project takes into consideration three European countries with different Christian traditions (Portugal, Denmark, Greece) and two Middle East countries with a Muslim majority (Lebanon and Egypt). It is focused on three policy areas: marriage and family, public schools, faith-based private schools.

Taking into account the historical, cultural, political and religious differences that characterize the two groups of countries, the research examines how much RM rights are respected and promoted. The project is based on the working hypothesis that the differences between Europe and Middle East do not prevent the identification of some common political and legal principles that, even in the variety of their concrete applications, can advance the inclusion of religious minorities, reduce discrimination and prevent their persecution. Rather, differences call for reflection on the best way to implement these principles, taking into account the variety of contexts in which they are to be concretely applied in order to ensure the greatest possible effectiveness.

The one-year-long project is funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. It is led by the Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK, Trento), with the participation of the Adyan Foundation (Beirut) and the "Freedom of Religion or Belief and Foreign Policy Initiative" (University of Sussex). For more information, please contact





   The inclusion of religious minorities and the development of multicultural dialogue for the growth of democracy (MiReDiaDe)

The potentialities of the Italian model in the Mediterranean area 

This is in part a continuation of the ReMinEm project. It compares some Mediterranean countries in two policy areas (school and education; marriage and family) in order to compare or contrast the strategies of inclusion or exclusion of RMs, and to assess the extent to which RM rights are respected and promoted. The examined European countries are Croatia (a Catholic-majority country whose constitution affords special protection to minorities, including religious ones), Cyprus (a Christian Orthodox-majority country where there are still some traces of the Ottoman millet system), France (a secular - laïc - and separatist country that nevertheless maintains the Napoleonic 19th-century system of recognized cults in the regions of Alsace and Moselle) and Turkey (a Muslim-majority country, where the principle of secularism - laiklik - was constitutionalized as early as 1937). As to the Mediterranean southern shore, this project takes into consideration another Muslim-majority country, Algeria (where Islam is the state religion). 

In addition, this project aims at investigating the development of multicultural and interreligious dialogue as an instrument of growth of democracy and essential precondition of peace. These dynamics will be compared with the system developed in Italy, in order to assess whether the latter can be a model for the Mediterranean area. 

The one-year-long project is funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. It is led by the Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose Giovanni XXIII (FSCIRE, Bologna), with the participation of the Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK, Trento) and the Research Center “Religion, Law and Economy in the Mediterranean Area” (REDESM, Como). For more information, please contact


policy areas