Promoting and Protecting Freedom of Religion or Belief
AT A GLANCE
Protecting fundamental human rights and what makes us uniquely human
Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) states, "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance." It is critical that we understand freedom of religion or belief in this context; that is to say that freedom of religion protects the typical church or institutions associated with the main religious bodies of our world. Freedom of belief protects the belief systems of our world that are not inherently religious such as atheism and agnotisticism. Together, freedom of religion or belief, protect freedom of conscience, the right to act on the truths that we hold dear, the right to live in a world of unity and tolerance, the right to be human.