Respecting, Ensuring and Promoting Migrants’ Right to Religious Freedom so as to Achieve Their Social Integration?: The Cases of Italy and Spain


Human beings move and, along with them, so do their religious beliefs and practices. Indeed, the religious traditions of people who migrate tend to represent a nuclear element of their identity hallmarks in which they find a point of community connection. Religion catalyzes migrants’ social belonging through the establishment of links within communities of believers, in which they find a respectful space that welcomes them and brings them closer to their countries of origin. Their religious freedom, both individually and collectively, is therefore a key right that emanates from their own human dignity and which they must fully enjoy in order to feel that they are an integral part of the society that receives them on equal terms with national citizens. The pluralism on which advanced societies draw depends on this, that is, on a real integration of migrants in the host society that involves the acceptance and recognition of the particularities and values of the newcomers, thus overcoming outdated assimilationist strategies capable of halting social progress and tolerance for diversity. The relevance of attaining this implies a real challenge for both public authorities and all the other social actors. Based on the above, this presentation aims at assessing the effectiveness of migrants’ right to religious freedom in the selected states and whether respecting, ensuring and promoting it might actually contribute to achieving their social integration, by mainly taking into account the two major obstacles observed: governmental restrictions on religious freedom and social conflicts and discrimination based on religion.


Núria Reguart-Segarra
Lecturer in Law and Religion, Faculty of Law and Economic Sciences, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón, Spain


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


2024 Special Focus—Spaces, Movement, Time: Religions at Rest and in Movement


Migrants, Religious Freedom, Interreligious Dialogue, Social Integration, Social Cohesion

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