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The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. – 2 Cor 3:17

The Right to Religious Freedom is a Precious Asset

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. – Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Freedom of religion is neither a luxury nor a privilege. It is a fundamental right enshrined in international and regional human rights instruments. 

The main purpose of human rights is to institutionalize respect for a person’s dignity, freedom and equality. Freedom of religion or belief, therefore, recognizes a crucial aspect of our humanness, namely, that we can adopt and cherish profound, identity-shaping convictions which can permeate all aspects of our lives. 

It overlaps with freedom of opinion and expression, but freedom of religion has its own unique characteristics. We can freely worship together in a community, display our religious identity, educate our own children according to our convictions, and build infrastructures that support our religious practices.

Our societies have a multitude of religious convictions and systems, yet people are still searching for the ultimate meaning of life. This would not flourish without freedom of religion or belief. Indeed, this freedom is a precious asset, a necessary foundation of a democratic society.