The right to profess freely a religious belief. “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” (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Art. 18). “Practice” includes the liberty to proselytize. United Nations’ General Comment no. 22 also specifies that “Article 18 protects theistic, non-theistic and atheistic beliefs, as well as the right not to profess any religion or belief. The terms ‘belief’ and ‘religion’ are to be broadly construed. Article 18 is not limited in its application to traditional religions or to religions and beliefs with institutional characteristics or practices analogous to those of traditional religions” and protects also religions that are “newly established, or represent religious minorities that may be the subject of hostility on the part of a predominant religious community.”« Back to Glossary Index
- Ghent Decision Overturned on Appeal: Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Shunning Can Be Freely Taught and Practiced in Belgium
The Court of Appeal of Ghent criticizes the first degree judgement and concludes shunning is protected by religious liberty principles.
- Dragon Boat Festival Used for Anti-Religious Propaganda
In Guangzhou, the elderly were “helped” to celebrate the Dragon Boat festival and told they should not waste their pension money in illegal religion, xie jiao, or superstition.
- Abdul Rehman Makki: Why Are China and Pakistan Protecting a Terrorist?
The designation of the deputy chief of Lashkar-e-Taiba as a global terrorist has been blocked by China at the United Nations.
- Russia’s Persecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses: Unlawful, the European Court of Human Rights Says
In a historic decision of June 7, the judges denounced the Russian concept of “extremism” as a tool used to violate religious liberty.