Report by the UN-Economic and Social Council, Dec. 13, 2004

Secularism (para. 54): …Christianity is also under pressure from a form of secularism, particularly in Europe. In part feelings of suspicion towards Christianity and limitations on its expression stem from the difficulty encountered, in particular in Europe, in managing the increasing presence of Muslims in the region. Thus the tendency to favour similar restrictions on all forms of religion results in the denial of the visible expression of any religion. It also seems that there is a fear of allowing religion to play a role in public life. This is apparently explained by a “rationalist” aversion towards religion, which is seen as representing the irrational, as well as by a tradition of secularism that denies religions the possibility, if not the right, to play a role in public life. This form of prejudice against Christians or ideas based on religion, which exists both in Europe and in the United States, mainly concerns questions relating to sex, marriage and the family, on which the Catholic, Muslim and Orthodox churches have taken stands.