As the world enters the 21st Century, the challenges in implementing freedom of religion or belief grow more complex and more acute. How can the internationally recognized norms regarding freedom of religion or belief be meaningful for all – women and men, majorities and minorities, established religions and new religious movements, parents and children? How can tolerance, mutual respect and understanding be globally expanded? How does freedom of religion or belief relate to other human rights?
Launched by the Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief, this deskbook anthology is designed as a single-volume resource for all who are concerned with facilitating improved global compliance with international standards in this vital area.
The varied and diverse topics addressed by over fifty global experts in the field provide a rich weave of many threads. The book addresses historical and philosophical background on religious human rights, applicable international norms and the international procedural mechanisms for safeguarding these norms. It surveys central areas of controversy, including registration of religious and belief organizations, emerging debates on religion and gender, parental and children’s rights, new religious movements, proselytism, and conscientious objection. Other chapters describe practical approaches to promoting tolerance and understanding through education, inter-religious dialogue, joint religious efforts addressing shared social problems, and conflict resolution initiatives. The volume also provides practical information regarding networking and other background issues that can help translate understanding of the applicable norms and procedures into action. Appendices provide texts of major international instruments on freedom of religion or belief.