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

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Background:

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:

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

Topics are:

bullet

Introduction

bullet

Past achievements and current status in North America
 

bullet

Items directly involving religious freedom:

bulletAnimal sacrifices in the Santeria religion

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

bulletDenial of human rights in the Constitutions of seven U.S. states

bulletHatred of Wicca and discrimination against Wiccans

bulletReligious freedom: to freely choose, follow, and promote a religion

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

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

bulletKilling innocent humans in Islam

bulletLack 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

bulletLack of rights for women

bullet International declarations on LGBT rights

bulletLaws 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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