“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 18 of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

“Each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to respect and to ensure to all individuals within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the present Covenant, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.”

— ARTICLE 2. 1. of The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights


Understanding FoRB

Freedom of religion or belief should be interpreted broadly and protects individuals who profess and practice different kinds of religions. Read More

FoRB and Human Rights

The basic principles underlying human rights apply equally to freedom of religion or belief. These rights are universal, indivisible, interdependent and interrelated. They are the same for everyone everywhere, cannot be separated from each other, are connected to each other and the fulfillment of one right is dependent on the fulfillment of other rights. Read More

Compendium of FoRB Conventions

This compendium provides an overview of key international/regional agreements and documents relating to freedom of religion or belief (FoRB). Read More

Threats to FoRB

A social, political and legal culture of freedom of religion or belief is essential to building peace, stability and democracy. Read More

FoRB and Women’s Rights

Important human rights conventions uphold FoRB as a right for each individual, including women. Every woman must have the right to decide for herself what she believes and to live her life according to these beliefs without fear; be protected from coercion to believe or to practice her beliefs in ways that are contrary to her will; and not be discriminated against because of these choices. Read More

FoRB and Freedom of Expression

In addition to FoRB, freedom of expression is also fundamental for a well-functioning society. Both complement each other and are equally important for the protection of minorities and those with opinions and beliefs differing from power holders. Read More