Religion and beliefs leading to discrimination

Freedom of religion is one of the fundamental human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Freedom of religion is the right of everyone to choose, accept, and change their religion and beliefs. This is one of the basic human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the UN in 1948. Freedom of religion by definition excludes interference as violence or coercion to adopt a religion and/or belief (beliefs):

Article 18


Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.


Article 19


Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Freedom of religion is the right of everyone to choose, accept, and change their religion and beliefs. This is one of the main things. At the same time, anything that divides people on any grounds has a huge potential to encourage misunderstanding and hatred. Religion and beliefs, when organized and/or institutionalized, can play a particularly strong role in determining the behavior of external groups.

Having strong religious beliefs can lead to direct religious discrimination (Christians versus Muslims, Catholics versus Protestants), but it can also affect our behavior toward other society strata. Emblematic examples of this are the actions of some religious groups towards women, people with disabilities or homosexuals, defining them as sinful and calling on believers to pray to God for them. Of course, religions can also be a catalyst for change for the better: it is their moral responsibility to ensure that tolerance and benevolence are preached to all people, and not intrusive denial and slander to individuals.

Different interpretations of religious books show that some of the discriminatory practices that are presented as necessary or imposed by religion are not true or misunderstood, although they are still practiced frequently. There are a number of historical examples in which Muslims have enjoyed fewer rights than orthodox in certain countries, as well as the refusal to employ Muslim citizens after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. Inter-religious clashes cause discrimination against those who worship different deities. Misinterpretation can even lead to discrimination between worshipers of the same religion.

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