The Lords debate freedom of religion and belief

On 16 July [column 766 ff] the House of Lords debated a motion moved by Lord Alton of Liverpool (CB), as follows:

“That this House takes note of worldwide violations of Article 18 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the case for greater priority to be given by the United Kingdom and the international community to upholding freedom of religion and belief”.

He began by quoting Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948:

“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 …”

The Declaration’s stated objective was to realise “a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations”. His purpose was to encourage Governments to give greater political and diplomatic priority to Article 18, to insist on the importance of religious literacy, “… to discuss the crossover between freedom of religion and belief and a nation’s prosperity and stability; and to reflect on the suffering of those denied this foundational freedom”. Continue reading