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Human rights: Freedoms of action to
which every person should be entitled

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Human rights are often held to include the individual's free access to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It includes equality before the law. Also important are the freedoms of thought and expression -- including religious freedom.

Unfortunately, the term "religious tolerance" has many meanings. On this site, we define it as extending religious freedom to people of all religious traditions, even though their beliefs and/or practices may seem strange and untrue. Tolerance simply indicates respect for the right of persons of all faiths to coexist in peace together without oppression or discrimination.

Religious freedom, religious tolerance and human rights are interrelated. Countries that exhibit religious tolerance will generally extend religious freedom and rights to persons of all faiths.

Topics covered in this section:

This section will mainly deal with human rights with a religious connection. Either:

bullet A right that directly concerns religious freedom, or
bullet A human right being opposed by one or more religious groups.

Topics are:




Past achievements and current status in North America


"Natural Rights" & "Natural Laws." 2019: Creation of a U.S. federal Human Rights Advisory Panel


Items directly involving religious freedom:

bullet Animal sacrifices in the Santeria religion

bullet Apostasy  (Irtidad): lack of freedom to convert from Islam to another faith

bullet Denial of human rights in the Constitutions of seven U.S. states

bullet Hatred of Wicca and discrimination against Wiccans

bullet Religious freedom: to freely choose, follow, and promote a religion

bullet Religiously-motivated conflict, oppression, discrimination, etc. << a big section

One or more religious groups attempting to limit human rights -- generally of women and sexual minorities:

bullet Shifts within U.S. conservative faith groups concerning race, gender, homosexual orientation, and gender identity. Impact on faith groups membership

bullet Boycott of the U.S. Army until it terminates religious freedom of religious minorities

bullet Killing innocent humans in Islam

bullet Lack of freedom from forced female genital mutilation

bullet Conflicts involving lesbians, gays and bisexuals

bullet Conflicts involving transgender persons and transsexuals

bullet Conflicts involving the asexual community

bullet Lack of rights for women

bullet International declarations on LGBT rights

bullet Laws in other countries that oppress or protect LGBT persons

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Paraphrased from Forum 18 at: www.forum18.org.

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Copyright 1995 to 2011 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2011-DEC-26
Author: B.A. Robinson

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