Freedom of religion

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Making Jews Modern in the Polish Borderlands. This section possibly contains inappropriate or misinterpreted citations that do not verify the text. The Syllabus was made up of phrases and paraphrases from earlier papal documents, along with index references to them, and presented as a list of "condemned propositions". Four religions Catholicism , Lutheranism , Calvinism , Unitarianism were named as accepted religions religo recepta , having their representatives in the Transylvanian Diet, while the other religions, like the Orthodoxs , Sabbatarians and Anabaptists were tolerated churches religio tolerata , which meant that they had no power in the law making and no veto rights in the Diet, but they were not persecuted in any way. You should receive an email from us shortly asking you to verify your email address. One of King Ashoka's main concerns was to reform governmental institutes and exercise moral principles in his attempt to create a just and humane society. From the Beginnings to

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He was excommunicated by Papal Bull in However, the movement continued to gain ground in his absence and spread to Switzerland. Huldrych Zwingli preached reform in Zürich from to He opposed the sale of indulgences, celibacy, pilgrimages, pictures, statues, relics, altars, and organs.

This culminated in outright war between the Swiss cantons that accepted Protestantism and the Catholics. The Catholics were victorious, and Zwingli was killed in battle in The Catholic cantons were magnanimous in victory. The defiance of Papal authority proved contagious, and in , when Henry VIII of England was excommunicated for his divorce and remarriage to Anne Boleyn, he promptly established a state church with bishops appointed by the crown.

This was not without internal opposition, and Thomas More , who had been his Lord Chancellor, was executed in for opposition to Henry. In , the Swiss canton of Geneva became Protestant.

In , the Bernese imposed the reformation on the canton of Vaud by conquest. They sacked the cathedral in Lausanne and destroyed all its art and statuary. John Calvin , who had been active in Geneva was expelled in in a power struggle, but he was invited back in The same kind of seesaw back and forth between Protestantism and Catholicism was evident in England when Mary I of England returned that country briefly to the Catholic fold in and persecuted Protestants.

However, her half-sister, Elizabeth I of England was to restore the Church of England in , this time permanently, and began to persecute Catholics again.

The King James Bible commissioned by King James I of England and published in proved a landmark for Protestant worship, with official Catholic forms of worship being banned. In France, although peace was made between Protestants and Catholics at the Treaty of Saint Germain in , persecution continued, most notably in the Massacre of Saint Bartholomew's Day on 24 August , in which thousands of Protestants throughout France were killed.

A few years before, at the "Michelade" of Nîmes in , Protestants had massacred the local Catholic clergy. Bohemia present-day Czech Republic enjoyed religious freedom between and , and became one of the most liberal countries of the Christian world during that period of time. The so-called Basel Compacts of declared the freedom of religion and peace between Catholics and Utraquists. The privileged position of the Catholic Church in the Czech kingdom was firmly established after the Battle of White Mountain in Gradually freedom of religion in Bohemian lands came to an end and Protestants fled or were expelled from the country.

In the meantime, in Germany Philip Melanchthon drafted the Augsburg Confession as a common confession for the Lutherans and the free territories. It was presented to Charles V in Each state was to take the religion of its prince, but within those states, there was not necessarily religious tolerance.

Citizens of other faiths could relocate to a more hospitable environment. In France, from the s, many attempts to reconcile Catholics and Protestants and to establish tolerance failed because the State was too weak to enforce them. It took the victory of prince Henry IV of France, who had converted into Protestantism, and his accession to the throne, to impose religious tolerance formalized in the Edict of Nantes in Intolerance remained the norm until Louis XVI, who signed the Edict of Versailles , then the constitutional text of 24 December , granting civilian rights to Protestants.

The French Revolution then abolished state religion and confiscated all Church property, turning intolerance against Catholics. Calvinism, however, was prohibited. Calvinism was included among the accepted religions in However, it was more than a religious tolerance; it declared the equality of the religions, prohibiting all kinds of acts from authorities or from simple people, which could harm other groups or people because of their religious beliefs.

The emergence in social hierarchy wasn't dependent on the religion of the person thus Transylvania had also Catholic and Protestant monarchs, who all respected the Edict of Torda. The lack of state religion was unique for centuries in Europe.

Therefore, the Edict of Torda is considered as the first legal guarantee of religious freedom in Christian Europe. Act of Religious Tolerance and Freedom of Conscience: If not, no one shall compel them for their souls would not be satisfied, but they shall be permitted to keep a preacher whose teaching they approve.

Therefore none of the superintendents or others shall abuse the preachers, no one shall be reviled for his religion by anyone, according to the previous statutes, and it is not permitted that anyone should threaten anyone else by imprisonment or by removal from his post for his teaching.

For faith is the gift of God and this comes from hearing, which hearings is by the word of God. Four religions Catholicism , Lutheranism , Calvinism , Unitarianism were named as accepted religions religo recepta , having their representatives in the Transylvanian Diet, while the other religions, like the Orthodoxs , Sabbatarians and Anabaptists were tolerated churches religio tolerata , which meant that they had no power in the law making and no veto rights in the Diet, but they were not persecuted in any way.

Thanks to the Edict of Torda, from the last decades of the 16th Century Transylvania was the only place in Europe, where so many religions could live together in harmony and without persecution. This religious freedom ended however for some of the religions of Transylvania in After this year the Sabbatarians begun to be persecuted, and forced to convert to one of the accepted religions of Transylvania.

Also the Unitarians despite of being one of the "accepted religions" started to be put under an ever-growing pressure, which culminated after the Habsburg conquest of Transylvania , [36] Also after the Habsburg occupation, the new Austrian masters forced in the middle of the 18th century the Hutterite Anabaptists who found a safe heaven in in Transylvania, after the persecution to which they were subjected in the Austrian provinces and Moravia to convert to Catholicism or to migrate in another country, which finally the Anabaptists did, leaving Transylvania and Hungary for Wallachia, than from there to Russia, and finally in the United States.

In the Union of Utrecht 20 January , personal freedom of religion was declared in the struggle between the Northern Netherlands and Spain. The Union of Utrecht was an important step in the establishment of the Dutch Republic from to Under Calvinist leadership, the Netherlands became the most tolerant country in Europe. It granted asylum to persecuted religious minorities, such as the Huguenots, the Dissenters, and the Jews who had been expelled from Spain and Portugal.

When New Amsterdam surrendered to the English in , freedom of religion was guaranteed in the Articles of Capitulation. It benefitted also the Jews who had landed on Manhattan Island in , fleeing Portuguese persecution in Brazil. Intolerance of dissident forms of Protestantism also continued, as evidenced by the exodus of the Pilgrims, who sought refuge, first in the Netherlands, and ultimately in America, founding Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts in William Penn , the founder of Philadelphia, was involved in a case which had a profound effect upon future American laws and those of England.

In a classic case of jury nullification, the jury refused to convict William Penn of preaching a Quaker sermon, which was illegal. Even though the jury was imprisoned for their acquittal, they stood by their decision and helped establish the freedom of religion. The statute served as the basis for the legal position of Jews in Poland and led to the creation of the Yiddish -speaking autonomous Jewish nation until The statute granted exclusive jurisdiction of Jewish courts over Jewish matters and established a separate tribunal for matters involving Christians and Jews.

Additionally, it guaranteed personal liberties and safety for Jews including freedom of religion, travel, and trade. The statute was ratified by subsequent Polish Kings: Poland freed Jews from direct royal authority, opening up enormous administrative and economic opportunities to them. The right to worship freely was a basic right given to all inhabitants of the future Polish—Lithuanian Commonwealth throughout the 15th and early 16th century, however, complete freedom of religion was officially recognized in during the Warsaw Confederation.

Polish—Lithuanian Commonwealth kept religious freedom laws during an era when religious persecution was an everyday occurrence in the rest of Europe. Most of the early colonies were generally not tolerant of dissident forms of worship, with Maryland being one of the exceptions. For example, Roger Williams found it necessary to found a new colony in Rhode Island to escape persecution in the theocratically dominated colony of Massachusetts.

The Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay Colony were the most active of the New England persecutors of Quakers , and the persecuting spirit was shared by Plymouth Colony and the colonies along the Connecticut river.

Freedom of religion was first applied as a principle of government in the founding of the colony of Maryland, founded by the Catholic Lord Baltimore , in The Maryland Toleration Act was repealed during the Cromwellian Era with the assistance of Protestant assemblymen and a new law barring Catholics from openly practicing their religion was passed. This time, it would last more than thirty years, until [52] when, after Maryland's Protestant Revolution of , freedom of religion was again rescinded.

Catholics and later on Jews also had full citizenship and free exercise of their religions. Williams gave the most profound argument: As faith is the free work of the Holy Spirit , it cannot be forced on a person.

Therefore, strict separation of church and state has to be kept. It was the inseparable connection between democracy, religious freedom, and the other forms of freedom which became the political and legal basis of the new nation.

Reiterating Maryland's and the other colonies' earlier colonial legislation, the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom , written in by Thomas Jefferson , proclaimed:. Those sentiments also found expression in the First Amendment of the national constitution, part of the United States' Bill of Rights: The United States formally considers religious freedom in its foreign relations. The International Religious Freedom Act of established the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom which investigates the records of over other nations with respect to religious freedom, and makes recommendations to submit nations with egregious records to ongoing scrutiny and possible economic sanctions.

Many human rights organizations have urged the United States to be still more vigorous in imposing sanctions on countries that do not permit or tolerate religious freedom.

Freedom of religion in Canada is a constitutionally protected right, allowing believers the freedom to assemble and worship without limitation or interference. Canadian law goes further, requiring that private citizens and companies provide reasonable accommodation to those, for example, with strong religious beliefs. The Canadian Human Rights Act allows an exception to reasonable accommodation with respect to religious dress, such as a Sikh turban , when there is a bona fide occupational requirement, such as a workplace requiring a hard hat.

This declaration recognizes freedom of religion as a fundamental human right in accordance with several other instruments of international law.

However, the most substantial binding legal instruments that guarantee the right to freedom of religion that was passed by the international community is the Convention on the Rights of the Child which states in its Article In , the UN's human rights committee declared that article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights "protects theistic, non-theistic and atheistic beliefs, as well as the right not to profess any religion or belief.

Despite this, minority religions still are persecuted in many parts of the world. The French philosopher Voltaire noted in his book on English society, Letters on the English , that freedom of religion in a diverse society was deeply important to maintaining peace in that country. That it was also important in understanding why England at that time was more prosperous in comparison to the country's less religiously tolerant European neighbours.

Adam Smith , in his book The Wealth of Nations using an argument first put forward by his friend and contemporary David Hume , states that in the long run it is in the best interests of society as a whole and the civil magistrate government in particular to allow people to freely choose their own religion, as it helps prevent civil unrest and reduces intolerance. It is this free competition amongst religious sects for converts that ensures stability and tranquillity in the long run.

Smith also points out that laws that prevent religious freedom and seek to preserve the power and belief in a particular religion will, in the long run, only serve to weaken and corrupt that religion, as its leaders and preachers become complacent, disconnected and unpractised in their ability to seek and win over new converts: The interested and active zeal of religious teachers can be dangerous and troublesome only where there is either but one sect tolerated in the society, or where the whole of a large society is divided into two or three great sects; the teachers of each acting by concert, and under a regular discipline and subordination.

But that zeal must be altogether innocent, where the society is divided into two or three hundred, or, perhaps, into as many thousand small sects, of which no one could be considerable enough to disturb the public tranquillity.

The teachers of each sect, seeing themselves surrounded on all sides with more adversaries than friends, would be obliged to learn that candour and moderation which are so seldom to be found among the teachers of those great sects. Hinduism is one of the more broad-minded religions when it comes to religious freedom. Hindus believe in different ways to preach attainment of God and religion as a philosophy and hence respect all religions as equal.

One of the famous Hindu sayings about religion is: However, Judaism also exists in many forms as a civilization, possessing characteristics known as peoplehood, rather than strictly as a religion.

However, these laws are not adhered to anymore as Jews have usually lived among a multi-religious community. After the conquest of the Kingdoms of Israel and Judea by the Roman Empire, a Jewish state did not exist until with the establishment of the State of Israel. For over years Jewish people lived under pagan, Christian, Muslim, etc. As such Jewish people in some of these states faced persecution.

In the Middle East, Jews were categorised as dhimmi, non- Muslims permitted to live within a Muslim state. Even though given rights within a Muslim state, a dhimmi is still not equal to a Muslim within Muslim society, the same way non-Jewish Israeli citizens are not equal with Jewish citizens in modern-day Israel. Possibly because of this history of long term persecution, Jews in modernity have been among the most active proponents of religious freedom in the US and abroad and have founded and supported anti-hate institutions, including the Anti-Defamation League, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Jews are very active in supporting Muslim and other religious groups in the US against discrimination and hate crimes and most Jewish congregations throughout the US and many individual Jews participate in interfaith community projects and programs. While the Israel Declaration of Independence stresses religious freedom as a fundamental principle, in practice the current [ timeframe?

However, as a nation state, Israel is very open towards other religions and religious practices, including public Muslim call to prayer chants and Christian prayer bells ringing in Jerusalem. Israel has been evaluated in research by the Pew organization as having "high" government restrictions on religion. The government recognizes only Orthodox Judaism in certain matters of personal status, and marriages can only be performed by religious authorities.

The government provides the greatest funding to Orthodox Judaism, even though adherents represent a minority of citizens. Women of the Wall have organized to promote religious freedom at the Wall.

Rabbi Joel Levy, director of the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, said that he had submitted the request on behalf of the students and saw their shock when the request was denied. According to the Catholic Church in the Vatican II document on religious freedom, Dignitatis Humanae , "the human person has a right to religious freedom", which is described as "immunity from coercion in civil society". The Syllabus was made up of phrases and paraphrases from earlier papal documents, along with index references to them, and presented as a list of "condemned propositions".

It does not explain why each particular proposition is wrong, but it cites earlier documents to which the reader can refer for the Pope's reasons for saying each proposition is false. Among the statements included in the Syllabus are: Some Orthodox Christians, especially those living in democratic countries, support religious freedom for all, as evidenced by the position of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

Many Protestant Christian churches, including some Baptists , Churches of Christ , Seventh-day Adventist Church and main line churches have a commitment to religious freedoms. However others, such as African scholar Makau Mutua , have argued that Christian insistence on the propagation of their faith to native cultures as an element of religious freedom has resulted in a corresponding denial of religious freedom to native traditions and led to their destruction.

As he states in the book produced by the Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief, "Imperial religions have necessarily violated individual conscience and the communal expressions of Africans and their communities by subverting African religions.

In their book Breaking India , Rajiv Malhotra and Aravindan Neelakandan discussed the "US Church" funding activities in India, such as the popularly advertised campaigns to "save" poor children by feeding, clothing, and educating them, with the book arguing that the funds collected were being used not so much for the purposes indicated to sponsors, but for indoctrination and conversion activities.

They suggest that this nexus of players includes not only church groups, government bodies, and related organizations, but also private think tanks and academics. Joel Spring has written about the Christianization of the Roman Empire:. Christianity added new impetus to the expansion of empire. Increasing the arrogance of the imperial project, Christians insisted that the Gospels and the Church were the only valid sources of religious beliefs.

Imperialists could claim that they were both civilizing the world and spreading the true religion. By the 5th century, Christianity was thought of as co-extensive with the Imperium romanum. This meant that to be human, as opposed to being a natural slave, was to be "civilized" and Christian.

Conversion to Islam is simple, but Muslims are forbidden to convert from Islam to another religion. Certain Muslim-majority countries are known for their restrictions on religious freedom, highly favoring Muslim citizens over non-Muslim citizens.

Other countries [ who? Even other Muslim-majority countries are secular and thus do not regulate religious belief. Thus, this supports the argument against the execution of apostates in Islam. However, on the other hand, some Muslims support the practice of executing apostates who leave Islam, as in Bukhari: In Iran, the constitution recognizes four religions whose status is formally protected: Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Among the most contentious areas of religious freedom is the right of an individual to change or abandon his or her own religion apostasy , and the right to evangelize individuals seeking to convince others to make such a change.

Other debates have centered around restricting certain kinds of missionary activity by religions. Many Islamic states, and others such as China, severely restrict missionary activities of other religions.

Greece, among European countries, has generally looked unfavorably on missionary activities of denominations others than the majority church and proselytizing is constitutionally prohibited.

A different kind of critique of the freedom to propagate religion has come from non-Abrahamic traditions such as the African and Indian. African scholar Makau Mutua criticizes religious evangelism on the ground of cultural annihilation by what he calls "proselytizing universalist faiths" Chapter Proselytism and Cultural Integrity, p.

Some Indian scholars [93] have similarly argued that the right to propagate religion is not culturally or religiously neutral. In Sri Lanka, there have been debates regarding a bill on religious freedom that seeks to protect indigenous religious traditions from certain kinds of missionary activities. Debates have also occurred in various states of India regarding similar laws, particularly those that restrict conversions using force, fraud or allurement.

In , Christian Solidarity Worldwide , a Christian human rights non-governmental organisation which specializes in religious freedom, launched an in-depth report on the human rights abuses faced by individuals who leave Islam for another religion.

The report is the product of a year long research project in six different countries. It calls on Muslim nations, the international community, the UN and the international media to resolutely address the serious violations of human rights suffered by apostates. In Islam, apostasy is called " ridda " "turning back" and is considered to be a profound insult to God. A person born of Muslim parents that rejects Islam is called a " murtad fitri " natural apostate , and a person that converted to Islam and later rejects the religion is called a " murtad milli " apostate from the community.

In Islamic law Sharia , the consensus view is that a male apostate must be put to death unless he suffers from a mental disorder or converted under duress, for example, due to an imminent danger of being killed. A female apostate must be either executed, according to Shafi'i , Maliki , and Hanbali schools of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence fiqh , or imprisoned until she reverts to Islam as advocated by the Sunni Hanafi school and by Shi'a scholars. Ideally, the one performing the execution of an apostate must be an imam.

However, while almost all scholars agree about the punishment, many disagree on the allowable time to retract the apostasy. Rahman, a former Chief Justice of Pakistan, argues that there is no indication of the death penalty for apostasy in the Qur'an.

Religious practice may also conflict with secular law, creating debates on religious freedom. For instance, even though polygamy is permitted in Islam, it is prohibited in secular law in many countries.

This raises the question of whether prohibiting the practice infringes on the beliefs of certain Muslims. The US and India, both constitutionally secular nations, have taken two different views of this. In the US, polygamy is prohibited for all. This was a major source of conflict between the early LDS Church and the United States until the Church amended its position on practicing polygamy.

Similar issues have also arisen in the context of the religious use of psychedelic substances by Native American tribes in the United States as well as other Native practices. Traynor neatly summarized the American position on how freedom of religion cannot imply freedom from law: City of Hialeah in upheld the right of Santeria adherents to practice ritual animal sacrifice , with Justice Anthony Kennedy stating in the decision: Hodges legalizing Same-sex marriage in the United States. When she refused to issue marriage licenses, she became embroiled in the Miller v.

Her actions caused attorney and author Roberta Kaplan to state that "Kim Davis is the clearest example of someone who wants to use a religious liberty argument to discriminate.

In , the case of Engele v. Vitale went to court over the violation of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment resulting from a mandatory nondenominational prayer in New York public schools. The Supreme Court ruled in opposition to the state. Edward Schempp sued the school district in Abington over the Pennsylvania law which required students to hear and sometimes read portions of the bible for their daily education. The court ruled in favor of Schempp and the Pennsylvania law was overturned.

In , the Supreme Court ruled on the case of Epperson v. Susan Epperson, a high school teacher in Arkansas sued over a violation of religious freedom. The state had a law banning the teaching of evolution and the school Epperson worked for had provided curriculum which contained evolutionary theory. Epperson had to choose between violating the law or losing her job. The Supreme Court ruled to overturn the Arkansas law because it was unconstitutional.

The law in Germany provides the term of "religious majority" Religiöse Mündigkeit with a minimum age for minors to follow their own religious beliefs even if their parents don't share those or don't approve. Children 14 and older have the unrestricted right to enter or exit any religious community.

Children 12 and older cannot be compelled to change to a different belief. Children 10 and older have to be heard before their parents change their religious upbringing to a different belief. In its annual report, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom designated fourteen nations as "countries of particular concern". The commission chairman commented that these are nations whose conduct marks them as the world's worst religious freedom violators and human rights abusers.

There are concerns about the restrictions on public religious dress in some European countries including the Hijab , Kippah , and Christian cross. The Pew Research Center has performed studies on international religious freedom between and , compiling global data from 16 governmental and non-governmental organizations—including the United Nations, the United States State Department , and Human Rights Watch —and representing over Social hostilities were classified by the level of communal violence and religion-related terrorism.

While most countries provided for the protection of religious freedom in their constitutions or laws, only a quarter of those countries were found to fully respect these legal rights in practice. In 75 countries governments limit the efforts of religious groups to proselytise and in countries religious groups must register with the government. The countries in North and South America reportedly had some of the lowest levels of government and social restrictions on religion, while The Middle East and North Africa were the regions with the highest.

Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran were the countries that top the list of countries with the overall highest levels of restriction on religion. Vietnam and China were classified as having high government restrictions on religion but were in the moderate or low range when it came to social hostilities.

Nigeria, Bangladesh and India were high in social hostilities but moderate in terms of government actions. Restrictions on religion across the world increased between mid and mid, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.

Restrictions in each of the five major regions of the world increased—including in the Americas and sub-Saharan Africa, the two regions where overall restrictions previously had been declining. In , Egypt, Nigeria, the Palestinian territories, Russia, and Yemen were added to the "very high" category of social hostilities. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the painting, see Freedom to Worship painting. For exemptions to anti-discrimination policy often known as "religious liberty" or "conscience protection", see Religious freedom bill.

Religious discrimination Separation of church and state. This section possibly contains inappropriate or misinterpreted citations that do not verify the text. Please help improve this article by checking for citation inaccuracies.

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