Article 22 of the European Union’s Charter of Fundamental Rights states, “The Union shall respect cultural, religious and linguistic diversity.” It is a law for producing equality throughout the European Union, why? Because the European Union is made up of many nations and citizens from even more nations.
In countries where people of different religions and ethnicities live together, the potential for discrimination is high, and so is the potential for conflicts based on the differences. In such places an emphasis on the differences between the people, for preventing those differences from being an obstacle to unity, to peace, to prosperity, and to progress, is required — Article 22 provides this.
The way for preventing the differences from becoming a problem is for those differences to be respected. This is a respect of the difference of religion, a respect of the difference of political view, a respect of the difference in ambitions, a respect of the difference of interests, and so on. In practise, the respect that prevents differences from causing conflicts, so that people can live comfortably and in peace, is greatly appreciated, but some people do not realise that that respect is tolerance.
By tolerating others with who you have differences, you respect the differences instead of acting on them — which is disrespecting them.
A strange thing occurs where a country grants a right to free speech, and to free thought, conscience and religion, but then when the citizens of that country exercise their rights, they are persecuted by other citizens who have differences with them. It’s an example to indicate, that some people do not understand that respect means tolerance — where rights are granted to individuals, the law simultaneously calls for those rights to be respected (tolerated). Without a respect for the differences between a nation or continent’s people, a lack of unity for progress afflicts that nation or continent — things could be better there.