Freedom of religion, belief and conscience

The right to freedom of religion is a human right that is secured in many ways. And yet it is increasingly under pressure. In the area of conflict between religion and politics it again entered the stage of public awareness some years ago. News from Nigeria, Indonesia or India time and again point to violent conflicts in which the freedom of people to practise their religion is massively restricted or impeded. Even in Europe, recent developments raise a number of questions. Disputes about the display of religious symbols in public quite regularly are brought before the European Court of Human Rights.
The Justice and Peace Commission is committed to clarifying essential questions concerning the right to freedom of religion, reducing misunderstandings and encouraging social dialogue processes to secure this important freedom right. The Second Vatican Council’s declaration on religious freedom Dignitatis Humanae forms the basis of the Commission’s work.

For further reading and links:

Publication „Religionsfreiheit - gegenwärtige Herausforderungen aus christlicher Sicht"

Daniel Legutke, Religionsfreiheit versus Meinungsfreiheit. Zu einer aktuellen Debatte im UN-Menschenrechtsrat, in: Herder Korrespondenz 67 (2013), no. 10., 511-514.

Website of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief

Vatican II Declaration Dignitatis Humanae

Pope Benedict XVI, Religious freedom, the path to peace.

Message for the World Day of Peace,1 January 2011