Today seems like a good occasion to revisit a document that was issued in conjunction with a congress of world religions in 2016, a Declaration of Human Rights issued by and reflecting the perspective of the world’s major religions. The statement was a response to September 11th and has not received the attention I would have expected such a document to receive.
The statement addresses a variety of matters pertaining to rights and the denial thereof that are sometimes associated in particular ways with gender, sexuality, race, slavery, and so on. As pertains to religion, it is especially interesting to see what the world’s religions think are the key rights and freedoms everyone should have with respect to religion. That it is Article 18 itself shows that there is a unity in prioritizing other more general rights and freedoms. Here’s a small taste of what it says:
- Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. This right includes
freedom to choose, retain, or change one’s religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or
in a community with others and in public or private, to manifest one’s religion or belief in
teaching, practice, worship, and observance.
- There shall be no compulsion in religion or belief.
- Everyone has the right to share his or her religion or belief with others and to teach it
Read the whole thing on the website of the 3rd Global Congress on World’s Religions after September 11. It is obviously based on and stands in relation to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights issued by the United Nations, as the document itself indicates.
Of related interest, Thomas Albert Howard blogged about the 1893 Parliament of the World’s Religions; New Humanist had pieces about whether human rights have a future and whether human rights are enough. See also: