Freedom of belief, freedom from belief
in Religion and rights
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Every internationally agreed human rights convention contains a clause protecting freedom of belief and conscience. Religious intolerance is not limited to any region nor is it exclusively practised by followers of any single religion or belief. The tolerance policy can neither afford to find an easy way out by resorting to the norms of injustice, intolerance and discrimination employed by the forces of terrorism. Nor can compromises be made that will eventually dilute the universal standards of human rights. Current debates about the value of religious belief for society often turn on unexamined and parochial notions of what religion is and mistaken assumptions about the causes of religious thinking and behaviour. In Christian theology, God gives Creation freedom to be itself; from that freedom every other freedom flows, in particular the freedom to love and be loved.

Religion and rights

The Oxford Amnesty Lectures 2008

Editor: Wes Williams


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