A recent example is the case of a priest who serves as chaplain of the cemetery in the Italian city of Cremona, who refrained from setting up the traditional Nativity scene for fear of offending Muslims and those of other faiths.
Still others "paradoxically" argue with the intention of eliminating discrimination that Christians who have public profiles "should be required at times to act against their conscience," Camilleri said.
These examples are all part of "what may rightly be called 'anti-Christian sentiment,'" and represent "a new form of intolerance and discrimination against Christians...based on setting the freedom of religion or belief against some general notion of tolerance and nondiscrimination."
When it comes to tolerance and non-discrimination, these things should never be used or interpreted in a way that would restrict religious freedom or belief, he said.
"Every right entails obligations and duties," he said. "Therefore, a self-professed Christian cannot claim that freedom of religion or belief entitles him to call for violence against non-believers."
However, the same goes for the other side, Camilleri said, explaining that a Christian preacher "who respectfully and faithfully teaches the religious or moral tenets of his Church" is still protected by freedom of religion, even if the majority of people are "uncomfortable" with what he has to say.
"We must raise awareness of discrimination against Christians even in regions where international public opinion would normally not expect this to exist," he said, adding that Christians, as well as others, must be allowed to express their religious identity publicly, "free from any pressure to hide or disguise it."
Any discomfort or opposition the public role of religion, he said, is what Pope Francis has referred to as "the polite persecution of Christians" in many countries.
"In the guise of 'political correctness,' Christian faith and morals are considered to be hostile and offensive, and therefore, something to be removed from public discourse," the priest noted, stressing that this fear of Christianity playing its "legitimate role" in society "betrays a reductionist view or approach to the freedom of religion or belief, confining it merely to the freedom of worship."
Despite challenges intolerance brings, Camilleri stressed that religion, Christianity included, has an endless capacity for good, not only for individuals and communities, but for society as a whole.
The Church, he said, "does not pretend...to substitute for politics. Nor does the Church claim to offer technical solutions to the world's problems since the responsibility of doing that belongs elsewhere."
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What religion does, then, is offer specific guidelines to both the community of believers, and to society as a whole.
Religion by its nature "is open to a larger reality and thus it can lead people and institutions toward a more universal vision" and a "horizon of fraternity" capable of enriching humanity, Camilleri said.
The Holy See, then, "is convinced that for both individuals and communities the dimension of belief can foster respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights, support democracy and rule of law and contribute to the quest for truth and justice."
Dialogue and partnerships between religions and with religions, he said, "are an important means to promote confidence, trust, reconciliation, mutual respect and understanding as well as to foster peace."