Talk:Freedom of religion

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Contents

(Deleted talk pages)[edit]

    The above-linked pages were deleted 8 April 2006, probably in error by a colleague misunderstanding their being misnamed. (The word "history" may have reflected the at least partial concern re the history, in Europe, of freedom of religion, or may have been intended to mean "earlier history of the talk page's contents".) In any case, their content seems to have been moved from this talk page, and to contain discussion intended to help plan improvements to the accompanying article. (They appear to have been first linked to on 28 February & 8 March 2005, respectively.)
    Please say so if anyone has a reason to object to their being undeleted and renamed to, respectively:
Talk:Freedom of religion/Archive 1, w/ Rdr from Talk:Freedom of religion/History 1
Talk:Freedom of religion/Archive 2, w/ Rdr from Talk:Freedom of religion/History 2
--Jerzyt 07:54, 1 August 2010 (UTC)

India[edit]

This entire section needs to be rewritten. This has little or no references, and is based purely on individual research and अपना खुद का दिमाग। Rajanala Samyak (talk) 16:40, 2 September 2013 (UTC)


Conflict of Religious Practice with Secular Law[edit]

What does the last paragraph here mean? "From about that time..."? It looks like it once had context, but whatever was there was deleted, and this paragraph still references whatever was there. 68.193.15.4 14:04, 10 March 2007 (UTC)


USA[edit]

There are two pieces in this article solely about the USA. Please correct this. 62.194.170.62 19:05, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

    There is nothing incorrect about that.
    What is your objection, specifically?
    Why is this in a funny box?
    68.193.15.4 14:02, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Status of religious freedom by country[edit]

The by-country sections of this article can be moved out to the individual "Status of religious freedom in X" articles linked from the religious freedom template at the bottom of the page. Lots of countries don't even have articles yet. The State Department country reports which I have just added to "External links" are public domain material, and can be copied freely. They would then need to be wikified and NPOV'd. The Freedom House country profiles (more a series of press releases) are also a good starting place. -- Beland 04:01, 7 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I am in total agreement with the template - I think that it also provides a very clear look at each state. Therefore it might be a good idea to create individual articles for all of the links created and to move the existing texts about the countries mentioned by name to those new article pages. MPLX/MH 17:54, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)
I just created an article specifically regarding Freedom of Religion in the United States. It will probably need to be looked at... I removed most of the information regarding the U.S. on this article, but left a brief thing, and a link to the new page. --5ptcalvinist 00:53, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Accuracy dispute[edit]

My main criticism of the accuracy of this article concerns the distinction it makes between "freedom of religion" and "religious toleration". See Talk:Religious toleration for details and discussion. -- Beland 03:26, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

The history here also needs to be de-jumbled, and I think it needs to move away from the idea that "freedom of religion" was invented in the 20th Century, especially since the events described in the history itself contradict that. -- Beland 04:02, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Freedom of religion is the title of the article and it has a very specific meaning in law. The issues raised have been addressed on the Talk:Religious toleration page. What has recently happened to the article is that has been disconnected from its definition to the point that it makes no sense at all. The previous version was very clear even though it was not complete and invited additional contributions. MPLX/MH 17:28, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Current article[edit]

The current article is composed of the last edits and the framework that existed prior to massive removal and reshuffling of text to the point that it had lost all meaning and made no sense at all. The article still needs work. However, a framework does exist. It had been suggested that the article was not accurate, but this was only after text had been removed from it. The accuracy of the article can be established by simply cross-referencing to the quotations cited. MPLX/MH 17:51, 8 Mar 2005 (UTC)

What?[edit]

In June 1789, the French Revolution brought about a dramatic change in perception of this subject with the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. The history of France at this point in time was a great influence upon the development of the United States and its founding Declaration of Independence.


There's a historical consensus that the American Revolution inspired the French Revolution, not the other way around. Corrected the mistake.

That's pretty funny. In order for the French Revolution to have influenced the writing of the Declaration of Independence, someone would've had to have invented a time machine and gone back to 1776. Funnyhat 00:19, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Barbarism to civilization[edit]

I removed the line "Freedom of Religion marks an important milestone in the progress of human societies from barbarism to civilization." Not only does this line fail to deliver any meaniful content, it also makes a POV comment about the march of history as progress and the value of freedom of religion. — 165.247.109.43 6 Jul 2005

That sentence was part of the edits made by Camqbell, who summarized the edits as "enhanc[ing] the intro". I reverted his edits, as they were largely arguments for Freedom from religion, not about the concept of Freedom of religion Mateo SA | talk July 6, 2005 04:23 (UTC)

Intro[edit]

The previous intro had a "systematic American bias" - in case of a really internationally valid subject. So I started with the general agreement:- Freedom of Religion as a Human Right as defined by the U.N. --Irmgard 16:30, 13 September 2005 (UTC)


  • I rewrote it a bit. Whether or not it is a "human right" in the generic (philosophical) sense or whether it is a Human Right as defined by the UN are two different things. I defined it along the template of the freedom of the press article, and added that many people think it is a human right, followed then by the UN definition. Hope that works for you. --Fastfission 03:34, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

The definitions of religious tolerance and separation of church and state I also removed - for one thing, they should be worked out in the respective articles and for another, they had also the "American-only" definitions. And the relation between the three should also be treated with care - they are not seen in the same way everywhere. --Irmgard 16:30, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

Modern concepts[edit]

There should not just be a highlighting of the "ideal" of the United States but a description different concepts of the relations between freedom of religion and other human rights: US (separation of church and state and freedom of religion almost absolute) ,France (separation of church and state but religious rights not superior to other human rights), England (with state church and historically many other beliefs in parallel), Denmark (state church and historically few other religions in parallel but a very broad spectrum of worldviews accepted within the state church). --Irmgard 16:30, 13 September 2005 (UTC)

The seperation of church and state does not belong in this article. It somewhat violates the neutrality, seperation of church and state has it's own article anyways. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.127.133.152 (talk) 04:15, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

"Vatican II"[edit]

"Vatican II", a Council held 1962-1965 under John XXIII (1958-1962) amd Paul VI altered Church teaching to enshrine Religious liberty. This has been rejected as apostasy by Traditionalists and as schism by the party of Marcel Lefebvre (Society of Pope St. Pius X).

The changed teaching has had influence on the larger faction of the Church that accepts Vatican II, and should be reflected in this article.

I believe that the so-called Constantinian shift too is relevant and should be linked to.

WikiSceptic 20:01, 9 October 2005 (UTC)


The teaching didn't actually change, it was further developed. Fr. William Most deals with this in his articles refuting Lefebvrism.

Also, the Inquisition only persecuted heretics, which by definition means Christians, not Jews. However, many Jewish people claimed to be Christian in order to live in Spain, and that is why they were persecuted. I think this should be made clearer.

Infanted 18:02, 20 August 2006 (UTC)

The Influence of Religion[edit]

As my economics teacher once told me, "Religion and money will be the two most powerful things that influence people." Quote from Mr. Brown

I do not know (And maybe doubt) if the freedom of religion is a path from barbarian to being more human, but I do know it is a path that many of us all take in our own way. From Catholic to a member of the body of Chirst or Islamic to a Jewish fellow, one thing is always certain. In the end the truth about each religion comes to light as we each face our final days.

And that, to me, is what makes up the Freedom of Religion. (But that is my own opinion.) --Zhang Liao 04:14, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

US orientation[edit]

I have seen this with other articles but this one is right there infront of you. There really shouldn't be any designation. Wikipedia is not a US only site. Other people read it and edit it.

Roman History[edit]

The subsection "Empires with religious freedom in the past" currently states that the Greek and Roman empires had "no restrictions" on religious freedom. This is simply false. The extremely well-known persecution of Christians under Roman rule is just one glaring counterexample. Relatively few restrictions during their histories maybe, but certainly not none. DavidMann 21:09, 2 May 2006 (UTC)

I thoroughly agree - and so have removed that section. Gil-Galad 4 May 2006

Freedom of relgion and the degree of seperation of church and state.[edit]

This article really needs to address the issue of just how much separation of church and state is needed to have freedom of religion. Advocates for the U.K. model and social conservatives in the U.S. would probably argue that freedom of religion can be obtained with less separation of church and state. Social conservatives might also argue that the right to participate school-led prayer or for a judge to post the ten commandments in his courtroom should be a part of his freedom of religion. This article should address the disagreement as to how freedom of religion should be defined. --Cab88 02:37, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

US doesn't really have seperation of church and state. It was a letter from Thomas Jefferson in 1802, was quoted by the Supreme Court in 1878, and mentioned once more in 1948. The overall flow of what you said seems to violate neutrality. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.127.133.152 (talk) 04:21, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

History of the Idea[edit]

We learn in this article about the intolerant actions of the Middle Ages but we do not learn why they chose intolerance over tolerance. What was the medieval understanding of religious freedom or the medieval justification of curtailing religious freedom?

We could use more history of the idea of religious freedom.


Proposed Merge of Religious Toleration to Freedom of religion[edit]

I've proposed that Religious toleration be merged into this article, as it largely covers the same ground. Historically, "Religious toleration" only has, so far as I am aware, distinct connotations in English history, where it is used to mean freedom of worship for different religious groups while the establiched Church was retained. Such a matter can be discussed within the Freedom of religion article. Gabrielthursday 22:32, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

Comment I am neutral on this point but feel that although both these articles are pretty short, they cover diverse areas which need to address many other important points (separately, if possible) and that expansion would be the preferred route. I would like to see things like – the views of non-western peoples – the beginning of the article "Freedom of religion and belief is considered by many to be a fundamental human right." – By whom? surely we are not talking of china and 1b people are we? – The article is written by westerns for consumptions by the west. Surely it needs to be more global – eg: which countries allow other religions to practise freely and which do not and why; what are the views of the main religions about both these points? Etc. We have only touched on the basics – thorough coverage has not been provided by either article. These are both very important issues in these difficult times when views are clashing and I would say that we need more input if this is possible?? --Hari Singh 02:29, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
A religion can be tolerated -- not actively persecuted -- without full freedom of religion. The concepts are distinct. 17:01, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
I agree, the concepts of religious freedom and religious tolerance are different though they can cross link. Puck42 10:53, 25 September 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm. A distinction might be made between religious toleration and religious freedom, but I doubt the above is it: "not actively persecuted". There certainly is nothing in the freedom of religion article to indicate that some level of discrimination is inconsistent with it. Perhaps one reaches a closer approximation of the issue if one is to say that religious toleration implies freedom of worship and observance, but not necessarily the ability to preach or convert. Still, I don't think that "religious toleration" is defined so narrowly that such is the principal definition. Moreover, even if there is a slight semantic difference, can't that be dealt with within a united article? Gabrielthursday 14:13, 26 September 2006 (UTC)
I think the two should remain distinct because freedom of religion is guaranteed by the government, religious tolerance is not. --5ptcalvinist 22:12, 15 October 2006 (UTC)
Definitely true. :) --Noypi380 07:56, 21 October 2006 (UTC)
Agree with the above, definitely not to be merged. Sfacets 09:23, 29 October 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps you could add a few notes, but still merge the pages? Please reply on my talk page. Laleenatalk to me contributions to Wikipedia 20:10, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

Need to add how freedom of religion is currently debated[edit]

What are the different disagreements about the concept of freedom of religion. For instance, is the right to propagate one's religion part of religious freedom? Added a section on debates, hopefully others will expand. Puck42 10:53, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

"Reaction of the Sikhs"[edit]

The section "Reaction of the Sikhs" is confusing. It speaks of the history of the Sikhs in the context of the Mughals but it is unclear how the history affected the contemporary (Indian?) understanding of religious freedom. It may be more interesting to read about the Sikh position on religious freedom, in a different section, instead. I suggest we delete this section, which is adding noise and not really about religious freedom. Perhaps there can be a different Wiki article about religious persecution through the ages.

Added a Restructure Tag to that section. Puck42 07:24, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

Atheism and irreligion[edit]

From the lede: "Freedom of religion must also include the freedom not to follow any religion (irreligion) or not having any belief in god (atheism)." Must? People may hold that it should, but it is a fact that religious freedom has been granted to limited groups -- indeed, far more limited groups that merely excluding irreligion and atheism. Goldfritha 01:03, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

Protestant[edit]

"While Protestant Christianity has theologically been favorable to religious freedom" This statement is blatantly false. The numerous persecutions carried out by Protestants have been fully justified in Protestant theology. (In various of its manifest permutations.) Goldfritha 01:03, 26 September 2006 (UTC)

The title[edit]

I'd suggest moving the page to Freedom of religion because that's the expression that's in common usage. Keep a redirect here, of course, but the current title is clumsy, sorry. Regards, Ben Aveling 11:08, 17 October 2006 (UTC)

Second. Gabrielthursday 15:08, 17 October 2006 (UTC)
Done. Regards, Ben Aveling 02:12, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

My reversion of 06:33, 18 November 2006 161.225.129.111 (Talk)[edit]

This page very recently underwent heavy revision aimed at reducing its size and trying to accomplish this largely by moving country-specific detail elsewhere. Some of the country-specific detail which was embedded in other sections was left behind, and this seems to have led to the change which I have reverted. My take on this is

  1. the detailed info in the change which I have reverted belongs in Status of religious freedom in India, not here.
  2. if the India-specific info in this article is incorrect, incorrect portions need to be corrected - but not by adding India-specific detail.
  3. reducing the amount of country-specific detail in this article would be a good thing. -- Boracay Bill 00:30, 18 November 2006 (UTC)

Hi Bill I had made the edits because of the following reasons

The title of the earlier page suggested about religious tolerance in the east but had refered only to India and not other countries . So I believed I could expand that into the whole south asian region.So I changed the title and expanded the content for all the 7 countries.

I removed / paraphrased the quote from Ashoka's edit to make it readable as I saw that the same quote had been mentioned up in the antiquity section

I agree with reducing the country specific detail on this page but I am not sure how to bring down the content . My question here would be , do we out country specific details in this page at all ? I was planning to get more details on all other countries in the south asia after I saw the response from the editors over this .

Though I agree with your points I am not sure if a complete revert was needed . Please provide further guidelines for the page . I must admit that I did not read the talk page earlier ~Rising Storm

---

Hi,

Apologies for the ham-fisted reversion. My experience has been that comment on talk pages often goes unnoticed, and my thought was that a reversion accompanied by a talk page comment might get some dialog going.

It turns out that I was a bit confused when I did this reversion. I had it in my mind that the Status of religious freedom by country (SORFBC) had been forked off of this Freedom of Religion (FOR) page, when the SORFBC page had actually been forked off of the Separation of church and state (SOCAS) page. The SOCAS page and this SORFBC page cover a lot of the same ground, and both are too large. The excessively large size of the SOCAS page was the reason behind the forking of the SORFBC page. Another related page which covers some of the same ground is the State religion (SR) page. I have a feeling that the info on these related pages could be presented better if differently organized, but I have no concrete ideas on that and suspect that reorganization would be difficult to get done.

As things currently stand, it seems to me that we are in a mode of trying to localize country-specific info on this topic either into the SORFBC page or into individual country-named pages listed there (e.g. Status of religious freedom in India SORF-I). Going with this understanding, I reverted your change on the belief that India-specific info should go in the SORF-I page, though less-specific summaries of that info might appear where useful on more general pages such as this one. My further thought after reading your comments are that the SORFBC page might benefit from reorganization into regions (e.g. South asia), and regional info involving multiple countries in the region might be summarized there in a section heading.

Those are just my own thoughts, though. Your thoughts may be different, and may be better. -- Boracay Bill 14:09, 18 November 2006 (UTC)


Islam[edit]

The extremely breif section on contemporary Islamic freedom of religion is confusing and contradictory. First it states that Islam firmly belives that conversion must be a personal choice, then it says that Saudi Arabia enforces Islam as the sole religion, with no extra information in attempt to reconcile these two seemingly opposing facts. --Queenrani 03:29, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Suggestion: If you have special knowledge in this area, improve the article. -- Boracay Bill 23:45, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

That Saudi Arabia enforces Islam as the sole religion means that

1. if someone wants to be a Saudi citizen, he has to be Muslim (the native population of Saudi Arabia is 100% Muslim, or at least in theory)

2. No public display of any religion other than Islam is allowed.

There are however a lot of non-Muslim western and Asian expats living there and it's not a problem, as long as they don't make display of their religion. They don't force people to convert. But Saudi Arabia isn't very representative of the Muslim world, as it is governed by the ultra-strict fundamentalist Wahhabi sect of Islam, which is not popular outside of Saudi Arabia.

Bukhari:V4 B52 N260; "The Prophet said, 'If a Muslim discards his religion, kill him." <--- where does this hadith link to? Has this something to do with political decimation of the Muslim community in Medina? This is not clear to me, because it contradicts with the freedom of religion that the Prophet said to a Bedouin man who left Medina peacefully as an apostate from Islam in the very same Hadith. (see Apostasy in Islam) --60.228.46.143 (talk) 07:43, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Koran and Hadith[edit]

[And say [O Muhammad]: 'The truth [has now come] you're your Sustainer: let, then, him or her who wills, believe in it, and let him or her who wills, reject it.] (Al-Kahf 18:29)

[There shall be no coercion in matters of faith.] (Al-Baqarah 2:256)

[And so, [O Prophet,] exhort them; your task is only to exhort. You can not compel them [to believe].] (Al-Ghashiyah 88:21-22)

[Thus, [O Prophet,] if they argue with you, say, "I have surrendered my whole being unto God, and [so have] all who follow me' – and ask those who have been vouchsafed revelation aforetime, as well as the unlettered people, 'Have you [too] surrendered yourselves unto Him?' And if they surrender themselves unto Him, they are on the right path; but if they turn away – behold, your duty is no more than to deliver the message: for God sees all that is in [the hearts of] His creatures.] (Aal `Imran 3:20)

[Behold, as for those who come to believe, and then deny the truth, and again come to believe, and again deny the truth, and thereafter grow stubborn in their denial of truth — God will not forgive them, nor will guide them in any way.] (An-Nisaa' 4:137)

Jabir ibn `Abdullah narrated that a Bedouin pledged allegiance to the Apostle of Allah for Islam (i.e. accepted Islam) and then the Bedouin got fever whereupon he said to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) "cancel my pledge." But the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) refused. He (the Bedouin) came to him (again) saying, "Cancel my pledge." But the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) refused. Then he (the Bedouin) left (Medina). Allah's Apostle said, "Madinah is like a pair of bellows (furnace): it expels its impurities and brightens and clear its good." (Sahih Al-Bukhari., Vol.9, hadith 316) --60.228.46.143 (talk) 07:44, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

The section on Islam really needs to be totally re-written. It's awful right now. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 82.247.85.103 (talk) 21:30, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

New Religious Movements (NRMs)[edit]

This article completely ignores religions other than Islam and Christianity. New religious movements are not mentioned despite being a centerpiece of the debate on the Freedom of religion in contemporary times. Sfacets 13:34, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Suggestion: If you have special knowledge in this area, improve the article. -- Boracay Bill 23:45, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

Freedom not to believe[edit]

The intro to this page begins (emphasis added):

Freedom of religion is considered by many in Western nations to be a fundamental human right.

It is also a guarantee by a government for freedom of belief for individuals and freedom of worship for individuals and groups. Freedom of religion includes the freedom not to follow any religion (irreligion) and not to believe in any god (atheism or agnosticism).

There have recently been a couple of back & forth reverts adding and removing the nots in this -- with me having added them back in after others had removed them. Please note the parenthetical notes in the sentence being ping-pong reverted which indicate that that sentence is related to the subjects mentioned therein: irreligion, atheism, and/or agnosticism.

The point of the sentence is that freedom of religion includes freedom from governmental compulsion to profess theism, not just freedom from governmental compulsion to profess some particular religious belief. The nots do belong in the sentence. That's how I understand it, anyhow. If I've got it wrong, please explain how it is that freedom of religion does not include freedom from governmental compulsion to profess religious belief.

Please, let's discuss it here rather than getting into a reversion war. We're closing in on the three-revert limit -- Boracay Bill 01:35, 15 March 2007 (UTC)

Freedom from religion[edit]

The Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." This means that in the US, citizens and residents have a freedom from religion, in addition to a freedom of religion. This article would do well to include a section regarding the fundamental human right to freedom from religion, or a perhaps a separate article should be written, to balance this one.


I agree that this concept should at least be mentioned, and perhaps even a new article on the topic. Meanwhile, see FFRF. Although I personally prefer your interpretation of of this Amendment, the only rights expressly guaranteed by the Establishment Clause are 1) there shall be no federally-sanctioned religion imposed upon the people, and 2) there shall be no laws preventing people from practicing their chosen religion. Technically speaking, this clause does not even apply to people who choose not to have a religion. The concept of "Freedom From Religion" is not expressly implied, although it could be argued that a prudent individual would consider Atheism as an exercise of religion.
In any case, I would say there should be some mention of the concept from a NPOV.
Caen 02:44, 30 July 2007 (UTC)
Is more needed than a mention that Religious Freedom is generally held to protect both religious observance and the lack thereof? While neither Caen nor our anonymous instigator of this conversation uses it in such a manner, "Freedom from Religion" is often used to argue for a particular type of secularism that, regardless of its merits, has little to do with religious freedom. Gabrielthursday 04:53, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

The concept freedom from religion chould be explained in this article at least to describe the marxist / communist idea of religious freedom. Marx stated, that real religious freedom is not just toleration of different religious beliefs, but it should mean to liberate individuals from religion (critique of the Gotha). The point is that communist societies have claimed that "religious freedom" is protected, the consept has been maintained. And even more, that there is the real religious freedom in their societies. All that means, that religious liberty is actually suppressed. This kind of definition of religious freedom is still used in the communist societies and has got wide historical influence.88.193.76.98 (talk) 22:13, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

"Bloat"[edit]

What Gomm refers to as "bloat" is more aptly characterized as detail. As you may have noticed, there are both contemporary and historical sections in the article, and stating clearly which are which is a detail that makes the article more readable and accessable. (RookZERO 22:56, 5 June 2007 (UTC))

If we are going to use a hierarchical structure, of sections and subsections and sub-subsections, then do we need to repeat each level of the hierarchy in the section below. For example, in the HISTORY section, do we need to repeat the word HISTORY three time, or can we just assume that all subsections of HISTORY are about HISTORY, so the subsections of HISTORY can just specify the specific content, such as


Freedom of religion

  1. History
    1. In Antiquity
    2. In Europe
    3. In the United States
    4. In Asia


is just as informative, and is a lot easier to navigate than the current:


Freedom of religion

  1. History
    1. Antiquity
    2. History in Europe
    3. History in the United States of America
    4. History in the East


Do we really need to repeat HISTORY all over the place? If spelling out the exact meaning of each subsection in it title makes it more clear, then the titles should be:


Freedom of religion

  1. History of Freedom of religion
    1. History of Freedom of religion in Antiquity
    2. History of Freedom of religion in Europe
    3. History of Freedom of religion in the United States of America
    4. History of Freedom of religion in the East


Extra words do not make things clearer, they make things more difficult to find. That is why they are called 'bloat'. -Gomm 16:49, 7 June 2007 (UTC)

Koran[edit]

I think this phrase "banning the Quran in United States courts where a Bible is allowed" is inaccurate. It implies people are trying to ban Korans from courtrooms entirely. The Koran itself would not be banned from the courtroom (i.e., it would be legal to have one in the court, as evidence for example). The question is whether it is acceptable to be sworn upon. 75.68.6.81 15:23, 29 June 2007 (UTC)

Top Image- Delcaration of the Rights of Man[edit]

I question the appropriateness of the image of the Declaration of the Rights of Man being the head image. Ideally, such images ought to embody the topic to the greatest extent possible. However, the Declaration is inextricably linked the French Revolution, and the abuses of Religious Freedom that occured therein. Perhaps there is a place for discussion of the Declaration, but we need to find a better image to embody the subject. Is there a picture of the Edict of Nantes? Of the Declaration of Indulgence?

Transsylvanian Medieval Apartheid was not tolerance, but quite the opposite ![edit]

In 1558, the Transylvanian Diet of Turda declared free practice of both the Catholic and Lutheran religions, but prohibited Calvinism. Ten years later, in 1568 the Diet extended the freedom to Calvinism and Unitarianism. In fact these 4 "recept religions" included abb 1/4 of the population of Transsylvania, but NOT the ROMANIAN MAJORITY which remained Orthodox Christian and therefore severely persecuted. The political system was very similar with the South African Apartheid system in which tolerance and equality was reserved for white people. Therefore, to cite the decisions of the 1558 Diet of Turda as "tolerant" is an offence to the Romanian and European public and should be immediately removed from this article ! Instead, the decisions of the 1558 Diet of Turda could be used as an EXEMPLE OF INTOLERANCE directed against a majoritary population, kept in quasi-slavery. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Transsylvanian (talkcontribs) 12:55, 19 November 2007 (UTC)


There are no proofs for Romanian majority in Transylvania until the late 19th century. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Stubes99 (talkcontribs) 18:38, 15 March 2010 (UTC)

Religious Studies courses in UK & Australia[edit]

It seems religious studies is part of the official curriculum in UK & Australia (NSW anyway) The curriculum guides say Christianity should be over 50% of the course. Is this true? Are courses compulsory?

--JimWae (talk) 08:10, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

UK law is that parents have the right to opt their children out. Peter jackson (talk) 11:13, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Remove Timeline section[edit]

This section makes little sense. It starts with Constantine and lists a bunch of European events. Timeline of what? It is certainly not a timeline of religious freedom worldwide. I am deleting this section. If someone wants to restore it please make it part of the Christianity section as a history of religious freedom in Christianity. (maybe?)Puck42 (talk) 17:51, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Be careful about generalizing statements[edit]

I made a previous edit that unfortunately resulted in an ungrammatical statement. Puck42, in trying to make sense of the mangled results, unfortunately didn't see the point of the edit and reverted it. I just made what should be a [better version of the edit]. My objection here is that the paragraph was incorrect since it spoke in generalities (e.g., "fundamental Christian belief", "is regarded as an affront" without stating by whom, thus setting it up as an absolute statement).

The point is that not all Christians believe what was stated and even those who believe may disagree as to its importance (thus negating the "fundamental" bit). There is also the logical problem that the belief itself is not an affront to religious freedom; rather specific actions, such as refusing to allow others to follow their faiths, would be, by definition, affronts: it is entirely possible for someone to believe that others will be condemned to endless torment for their choices while still allowing them the freedom to make that choice. The paragraph as it stood was too generalizing and imprecise in dealing with touchy subjects. It then went on to contradict itself by stating that some Christians don't emphasize that aspect of their faith, in which case they wouldn't be Christians if those are "fundamental" aspects.

Note that I'm not objecting to the general concept, just to an overly aggressive statement of it. Much better to hedge it and admit that there is a diversity of opinion rather than treating "Christianity" as a monolith.

-Fenevad (talk) 16:37, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Freedom by the State vs. Freedom from the State[edit]

I noticed that in a few notable situations, the notion of freedom of religion was actually used to attack religion as part of an ongoing Church-State conflict. In some of the older, modified versions of the constitution of Mexico for example, it basically says that the State is the sole guardian of free conscience and that all conscience clauses such as religion are to be derived from this constitutional right. This was the controversial legislation which provoked the Cristero War and led to the closing of churches and firing of clergymen by what appeared at the time to be Masonic govenors, such as Plutarco Calles. Similar events occured during the Third Republic in France and the Second Republic in Spain. ADM (talk) 02:55, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Laicité[edit]

Another issue is that a popular interpretation of freedom of religion is the French notion of laicité, a term that is defined in the controversial 1905 law aimed at secularizing French society and reducing the influence of the Roman Catholic Church. The law was heavily debated when it passed because critics interpreted it as a form of government interference in the affairs of the Church. ADM (talk) 04:27, 30 April 2009 (UTC)

Education[edit]

New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2nd ed, vol 5, page 946: "Modern educational techniques enable practical hostility to religion to be exercised most effectively by antireligious education, systematically conducted. The primary criterion for testing the sicerity of alleged concessions to, and in general the real acknowledgment of, the right to religious freedom is not to be sought in the release or nonimprisonment of bishops and priests, or in the diplomatic honors or other privileges accorded to them, but in the freedom of religious education—real, sustained, and peaceful freedom, without penalties of any kind, for parents to provide their children with formation in their own religious traditions."

Article 2 of the 1st protocol of the European Human Rights Convention guarantees the right of parents for their children to be educated ina ccordance with their religious or other beliefs. Peter jackson (talk) 11:04, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Thomas Jefferson quote[edit]

Looks like some American "libertarian" likes to quote Thomas Jefferson in the first paragraph. This is higly inappropriate. --212.247.27.86 (talk) 13:50, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Please elaborate, the use of "American libertarian" might indicate to the detached reader you come with your own bias to the article. Jefferson is very notable so if you feel he does not represent in any way main stream views on religious freedom, i.e is unworthy of a pithy quotation in the lede, then please set out your POV on the talk page b4 simply deleting cited material. Taam (talk) 17:14, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Well, I did it b4 simply deleting it. It's extremely ugly however, to have that quote in the first paragraph. I don't think that he is notable enough to be cited in the first paragraph. If it was some guy who was more famous like Socrates or Plato or Aristotle or something like that, then it could be discussed but the way it is now, it is extremely ugly and it looks like a 10-year old has written it. No offence but I think that people have to grow up and stop quoting the founding fathers of America every single time freedom of religion or speech or the press is on the agenda. They didn't "come up" with it. It existed long before them. --212.247.27.86 (talk) 08:42, 1 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for explaining your point of view. Your comments on the talk page preceded the deletion of referenced material by one minute as it appears on my watchlist. To delete referenced material needs more time for other contributors to respond, especially since the article in general lacks such verifiable information. My own opinion is that Jefferson's quote should appear in the body of the main article rather than the lede along with some interpretive context because there may be a more nuanced understanding of Jefferson's comments with regard to separation of Church and state - his quote as it stands is ambiguous. Please also take into account that whoever added this quote took the bother to give a citation for the material and if you are sincere in the "no offence" outlook then it might be better to refrain from "it looks like a 10-year old kid has written it". To be frank I would rather have more 10-year old kids on Wikipedia who use citations than a multitude of adult contributors who add their own pov. Taam (talk) 13:21, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Clarifying edit undone[edit]

I've undone this edit, which changed

In a country with a state religion, freedom of religion is generally considered to mean that the government permits religious practices of other sects besides the state religion, and does not persecute believers in other faiths.

. to read

Countries with a state religion, are considered not to have freedom of religion. However these governments may permit religious practices of other sects besides the state religion, and may not persecute believers in other faiths.

The changed version would have been ambiguous (considered by whom? -- the earlier version's "generally considered" is not quite so ambiguous), and would have failed to explain the implied enforcement mechanism for violations of "may not".

Sura 2:190-194[edit]

A recently edited part of this article currently reads:

In Sura 2:190-194, refers to the war against Pagans during the Battle of Badr in Medina, of which it was indicating that Muslims are only allowed to fight against those who intend to harm them (right of self-defense) and that if their enemies surrender, they must also stop because God does not like those who transgress limits.

this source, an English translation of Sura 2, does not seem to be speaking specifically about a particular war or a particular battle. I don't know enough about this to challenge this, but just mention it here in case it is a concern. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 22:01, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Does "freedom of religion" apply to religions?[edit]

Does the concept of "freedom of religion" apply to religions? By this I mean, as far as I know the major religions do not allow the freedom of other religions. For example the Roman Catholic Church teaches all other religions, including other Christian Churches, are heretics to a varying degree. And it is near impossible to become a Jew if you are not born a Jew, and definitely impossible to become a Hindu if you are not born a Hindu. Do these various religions expect the state to provide them with the protection of freedom, when they cannot do the same for other religions? 86.147.244.167 (talk) 01:47, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

My understanding is that the concept of freedom of religion relates to freedom from interference by the state. Using your examples,
  • a state observing principles of freedom of religion does not restrict Catholics from teaching that others are heretics, or restrict others from teaching that the Pope is the antichrist (e.g., [1], [2], ...), etc.
  • such a state does not force Catholics, other Christian denominations, Jews, Hindus, or whatever religion/sect to accept persons into their religion/sect which their religion/sect would otherwise bar (and see [3]], [4], etc. re conversions into Judaec and Hindu faiths)
Also, this is not a discussion forum. It is a forum for discussion about how to improve the associated article. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 03:20, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

IMPORTANT SEMANTIC PROBLEM[edit]

Tolerance is not religious freedom, just a half-way. Religious freedom in a country/state = equality of religions without the discrimination of its provinces/territory or social-status of the people. Many events of religious tolerance are mentioned as freedom in this article. It is a very big semantic promlem in this article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.0.251.238 (talk) 11:24, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

My immediate reaction took me to the following:
dictionary.reference.com:tolerance: 1. a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, practices, race, religion, nationality, etc., differ from one's own; freedom from bigotry.
Wiktionary:Tolerance: 2. The ability or practice of tolerating; an acceptance or patience with the beliefs, opinions or practices of others; a lack of bigotry. [from 18th c.]
Seems to me as if it's a matter of how one defines "tolerance".
Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 13:51, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Tolerance = no impirsonments and execution or maltreatment for religious minorities. It was just a type of patience. It was enough to stop the religious genocides, but it was not more!

Freedom: when the government declared the equality of religions. The government, the political leaders (royal/imperial advisors) and the leaders of armies contains religious minorities. Religious Freedom or Equality = when your mental constitutions and beliefs doesn't stop your state career or the rise of your career into the highest power-structure of the society. And it didn't exist in most Western European countries until the end of 19th century. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.0.251.238 (talk) 18:58, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Forexample: A catholic PM was unimaginable in Britain in the 19th century. A protestant president was unimaginable in France in the 19th century. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.0.251.238 (talk) 19:02, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Misuse of sources[edit]

Jagged 85 (talk · contribs) is one of the main contributors to Wikipedia (over 67,000 edits; he's ranked 198 in the number of edits), and practically all of his edits have to do with Islamic science, technology and philosophy. This editor has persistently misused sources here over several years. This editor's contributions are always well provided with citations, but examination of these sources often reveals either a blatant misrepresentation of those sources or a selective interpretation, going beyond any reasonable interpretation of the authors' intent. Please see: Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Jagged 85. The damage is so extensive that it is undermining Wikipedia's credibility as a source. I searched the page history, and found 8 edits by Jagged 85 in November 2008 and 3 more edits in April 2010. Tobby72 (talk) 17:38, 15 June 2010 (UTC)

Freedom of religion and religious freedom[edit]

    There has (appropriately) been substantial discussion of "tolerance" vs. "freedom" on this talk page, and (perhaps proportionately) some sparse mention of e.g. freedom not to believe and freedom from religion. However, Religious freedom has been a Rdr to the accompanying article, without apparent discussion and essentially without interruption. Reasonable editors may argue that distinctions made between these two terms are mere wording without a corresponding difference is not outrageous; still, they should recognize, especially in light of the slogan "freedom of religion, not freedom from religion", that

  1. "religious freedom", as an encyclopedia-article title, is clearly about the history and practice of freedoms in the area of religion while "freedom of religion" is subject to questions about which senses of "freedom from religion" are outside the ambit of a "freedom of religion" article -- questions that have only PoV answers,
  2. at least in the US (where controversy on religious freedom is perhaps as lively as in any industrialized country), "freedom of religion" in fact creates false parallels with the constitutional language "the freedom of speech, or of the press": the phrase "freedom of religion" neither appears, nor can conceivably be argued (in light of the actual contrast to that phrase) as adequately summarizing the intent of "[not legislating] respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof", and
  3. the current title may have helped encourage, e.g. (in the lead sent) "Freedom of religion is a principle that" (as opposed to "an arena of controversy") -- actually an approach that is contradicted, before the lead ends, by FoR "is considered by many people and nations to be ..." and "generally considered to mean ..."; this provides the tone that everyone but medieval dolts believes in FoR, it and amounts to acquittal from the charge of persecution ("just decisions in the implementation of a common policy", perhaps?) for anyone who says they support it, no matter what burdens they impose on their respective national or local religious minorities.

    I am interchanging the titles of article and Rdr for the sake of precision and NPOV, believing it will be both uncontroversial and salutary.
--Jerzyt 23:58, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

Constantine and freedom of religion[edit]

I've been reading through a work by Lactantius, and once again I find something that seems quite notable: a description of Constantine's decree which sounds like a very general statement of freedom of religion, much more so than the Cyril cylinder:

"When we, Constantine and Licinius, emperors, had an interview at Milan, and conferred together with respect to the good and security of the commonweal, it seemed to us that, amongst those things that are profitable to mankind in general, the reverence paid to the Divinity merited our first and chief attention, and that it was proper that the Christians and all others should have liberty to follow that mode of religion which to each of them appeared best; so that that God, who is seated in heaven, might be benign and propitious to us, and to every one under our government. And therefore we judged it a salutary measure, and one highly consonant to right reason, that no man should be denied leave of attaching himself to the rites of the Christians, or to whatever other religion his mind directed him, that thus the supreme Divinity, to whose worship we freely devote ourselves, might continue to vouchsafe His favour and beneficence to us. And accordingly we give you to know that, without regard to any provisos in our former orders to you concerning the Christians, all who choose that religion are to be permitted, freely and absolutely, to remain in it, and not to be disturbed any ways, or molested. And we thought fit to be thus special in the things committed to your charge, that you might understand that the indulgence which we have granted in matters of religion to the Christians is ample and unconditional; and perceive at the same time that the open and free exercise of their respective religions is granted to all others, as well as to the Christians. For it befits the well-ordered state and the tranquillity of our times that each individual be allowed, according to his own choice, to worship the Divinity; and we mean not to derogate aught from the honour due to any religion or its votaries."[5]

I realize that this grand tolerance didn't stick, but still, as a statement it seems like a remarkable recognition of freedom of religion at a philosophical level. Can someone provide a broader scholarly context? Wnt (talk) 17:39, 13 August 2010 (UTC)

"Modern Concerns" section.[edit]

A series of events involving aggressions against the minority Coptic Church in Egypt have been covered by the BBC and other news agencies (Jan, 2011). Maybe this issue could be used to reference the statement "Today there are concerns about the persecution of religious minorities in the Muslim world..." In addition, I think that this section and the next one, "Contemporary global overview", should be merged as they cover similar aspects. Gabsvillalobos (talk) 06:43, 3 January 2011 (UTC)


United Kingdom & Ireland[edit]

I'm surprised that there is no section on the United Kingdom, King William III and the "Glorious Revolution". The Orange Order, after all, celebrates the freedom of religion (along with the start of British democracy) in the UK & Ireland (and around the world in Canada etc.) every year. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.171.178.43 (talk) 04:25, 13 July 2011 (UTC)

Middle East[edit]

I restored previously deleted reference about intolerance of Muslim rulers in Spain. Even article BBC: Muslim Spain (711-1492) say, that "Jews and Christians were severely restricted in Muslim Spain, by being forced to live in a state of 'dhimmitude'." and "The Muslim rulers didn't give their non-Muslim subjects equal status; as Bat Ye'or has stated, the non-Muslims came definitely at the bottom of society.". --Yopie (talk) 14:47, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

I agree its not full tolerance, But you see that article itself points out that it is not 21st century tolerance, but compared to other nations or kingdoms, etc. was a type of tolerance, I think while it is important to note the second class status that was given to them, it is for academic reasons important to note that Muslim Spain was at least a level of tolerance above many of it's contemporary peoples, as well a distinction should be made from the Umayyad kings and Almoravid or moroccan berber dynasties, just to be exact when noting different levels of tolerance, i.e. moroccan dynasties that tended to be more restrictive and intolerant, while umayyad were more tolerant than the moroccan dynasties — Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.69.172.92 (talk) 20:14, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

Criticisms[edit]

This article needs a "Criticism" section to reflect the fact that "Freedom of Religion" is actually a secular trojan horse that is destroying religion by denying the authority claims of all religions and thus reducing each to nothing more than a lifestyle choice in a consumerist marketplace. — Preceding unsigned comment added by FurryAminal (talkcontribs) 12:48, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Salem Witch Trials?[edit]

Does it really make sense to include the Salem witch trials in an article on religious freedom? It's not as though the victims were Wiccans practicing their faith; they were Puritans being killed by other Puritans in a state of mass hysteria. Religiously motivated injustice is not the same as restricting religious freedom by any stretch of the imagination. I suggest removal. Joker1189 (talk) 16:04, 29 October 2013 (UTC)

Freedom of religion in China?[edit]

Headine-1: In China, Michelle Obama calls for universal rights

QUOTE: “BEIJING – The U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama called on China Saturday to respect universal rights including freedom of expression and religion, and open access to information. Her week-long trip, focused on education, embraces pandas, ping-pong and people-to-people diplomacy, but she used a speech at Peking University to push China to soften its authoritarian system. "When it comes to expressing yourself freely, and worshipping as you choose, and having open access to information – we believe those are universal rights that are the birthright of every person on this planet," Obama told an audience of Chinese and U.S. students at the Stanford Center of Peking University.” [This would be huge, if freedom of religion happens in China.] — Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 04:28, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Hmmm... de-jure freedoms seem to be in place. Quoting from the 1982 Constitution of the People's Republic of China:

Article 35. Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration.

Article 36. Citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief. No state organ, public organization or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens who believe in, or do not believe in, any religion. The state protects normal religious activities. No one may make use of religion to engage in activities that disrupt public order, impair the health of citizens or interfere with the educational system of the state. Religious bodies and religious affairs are not subject to any foreign domination.[6]

However, national governments are not always completely scrupulous in de-facto observance of freedoms and rights guaranteed de-jure to the people in their national constitutions remaining within constitutional constraints. Also see comments re religious freedom and re the "four bigs" in http://countrystudies.us/china/108.htm Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 07:24, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Headine-2: Freedom of speech is 'universal' right, Michelle Obama tells China

QUOTE: “Amid a growing crackdown on Chinese dissidents, the US First Lady tells an audience in Beijing that the "questioning and criticism" of political leaders is crucial” — [I'm just adding ref. for future editing, if appropriate, sooner or later.] — Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 15:39, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

I'm sort-of doing the same, though freedom of speech in general appears to be outside of this article's main topical area. Anyhow, re freedoms, see the "four bigs" info mentioned and linked above and see article 54 of the Chinese constitution (linked above) mentioned at the "bigs" link. Remarking parenthetically, I'd wonder about a comparison between Article 54 of the Chinese constitution and the U.S. Patriot Act as extended, judicial rulings re its constitutionality, and its application in practice by the Executive branch. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 19:22, 22 March 2014 (UTC)
I think that we're pushing the limits of WP:TALK#USE here (me more than you), so that's probably my last comment here about this. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 19:22, 22 March 2014 (UTC)

Possible copyright problem[edit]

This article has been revised as part of a large-scale clean-up project of multiple article copyright infringement. (See the investigation subpage) Earlier text must not be restored, unless it can be verified to be free of infringement. For legal reasons, Wikipedia cannot accept copyrighted text or images borrowed from other web sites or printed material; such additions must be deleted. Contributors may use sources as a source of information, but not as a source of sentences or phrases. Accordingly, the material may be rewritten, but only if it does not infringe on the copyright of the original or plagiarize from that source. Please see our guideline on non-free text for how to properly implement limited quotations of copyrighted text. Wikipedia takes copyright violations very seriously. Diannaa (talk) 01:19, 24 March 2014 (UTC)