Freedom of religion is the freedom of an individual or community, in public or private, to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance. It is generally recognized to also include the freedom to change religion or to not follow any religion. Freedom of religion is considered by many in many nations and people to be a fundamental human right. Human rights refers to the "basic Rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled 
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. A state religion (also called an official religion, established church or state church) is a religious body or Creed officially
Today there are concerns about the persecution of religious minorities in the Muslim world and in some Communist states such as China and North Korea, as well as other forms of intolerance in other countries, for example banning the wearing of prominent religious articles such as the Muslim veil in some contexts in European countries. The term Muslim world (or Islamic world) has several meanings Communism is a Socioeconomic structure that promotes the establishment of an egalitarian, classless, stateless Society based China ( Wade-Giles ( Mandarin) Chung¹kuo² is a cultural region, an ancient Civilization, and depending on perspective a National North Korea is the commonly used short form name for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (or DPRK) a State located in East Asia, Islam and clothing Hijab or ħijāb ( ar حجاب, pronounced) is the Arabic term for "cover" (noun based on the root حجب meaning "to  Freedom of religion as a legal concept is related to, but not identical with, religious toleration, separation of church and state, or laïcité (a secular state). Religious toleration is the condition of accepting or permitting others' religious beliefs and practices which disagree with one's own Separation of church and state is a Political and Legal Doctrine that Government and religious institutions are to be kept separate Laïcité (laisiˈte is the French concept of a Secular society, connoting the absence of religious involvement in government affairs A secular state is a State or Country that is officially neutral in matters of Religion, neither supporting nor opposing any particular religious beliefs
Where individuals and not governments are concerned, religious toleration is generally taken to refer to an attitude of acceptance towards other people's religions. Such toleration does not require that one view other religions as equally true; rather, the assumption is that each citizen will grant that others have the right to hold and practice their own beliefs. Against this backdrop proselytism can be a contentious issue, as it could be regarded as an offense against the validity of others' religious beliefs, including the belief in no religion at all.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the fifty eight Member States of the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948, at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France defines freedom of religion and belief as follows: "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 Universal Declaration of Human Rights ( UDHR) is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly ( 10 December 1948 at Palais Membership For two articles dealing with membership in the General Assembly see General Assembly members Events 1041 - Empress Zoe of Byzantium elevates her adoptive son to the throne of the Eastern Roman Empire as Michael V Year 1948 ( MCMXLVIII) was a Leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the 1948 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The Trocadéro, site of the Palais de Chaillot, is an area of Paris, in the 16th ''arrondissement'', across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower Paris (ˈpærɨs in English; in French) is the Capital of France and the country's largest city This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. "
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Historically freedom of religion has been used to refer to the tolerance of different theological systems of belief, while freedom of worship was defined as freedom of individual action. Religious discrimination is valuing or treating a person or group differently because of what they do or do not believe Religious persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group of individuals as a response to their religious beliefs of affiliations. The status of Religious freedom around the world varies from country to country The current government of Afghanistan has only been in place since 2002 following a U The Algerian Constitution declares Islam to be the State religion (Article 2 but also that "freedom of creed and opinion is inviolable" (Article Religious freedom in Canada is a constitutionally protected right allowing believers the freedom to assemble and Worship without limitation or interference The Constitution of the People's Republic of China provides for freedom of Religious belief however the Government possibly due to the fact that Freedom of The Republic of Colombia has an area of 439735 square miles (1138908 square kilometers and its population is estimated at 46 million Freedom of religion is guaranteed in France by the constitutional rights set forth in the 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen. The Georgian Constitution provides for Freedom of religion, and the Government generally respects this right in practice Freedom of Religion in Germany is guaranteed by article 4 of the Grundgesetz (constitution stating that "the freedom of religion conscience and the freedom India is one of the most diverse nations in terms of religion Iran is an Islamic republic. The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran mandates that the official religion of Iran is Islam (see Islam Italy is a prevalently Roman Catholic country with minorities of Muslims (mostly from recent Immigration) and Jews Christian Protestants The Constitution provides for Freedom of religion and the freedom to practice all Religious rites provided that the Public order is not disturbed The status of religious freedom in Malaysia is a controversial issue The state of Mauritania has a constitution which establishes the country as an Islamic republic and decrees that Islam is the religion of its citizens and the State the Religious freedom in Pakistan has come into conflict with Sharia law. Religious freedom in the Philippines is guaranteed by the Constitution of the Philippines. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is an Islamic Theocratic Monarchy in which Islam is the official religion the law requires that all Saudi citizens be Muslims Sri Lanka has a history of religious tolerance and Multiculturalism. The Muslim nation of Sudan has a Constitution which provides for Freedom of religion; however in practice the government of Sudan severely restricts this The Constitution provides for freedom of religion and the Government generally respected this right in practice however the Government imposes some restrictions on Muslim and other religious The status of religious freedom in the United Kingdom varies across the constituent countries of the United Kingdom, as the three legal systems (see English In the United States Freedom of religion is a constitutionally guaranteed right provided in the religion clauses of the First Amendment. Each of these have existed to varying degrees. While many countries have accepted some form of religious freedom, this has also often been limited in practice through punitive taxation, repressive social legislation, and political disenfranchisement. Compare examples of individual freedom in Italy or the Muslim tradition of dhimmis, literally "protected individuals" professing an officially tolerated non-Muslim religion. Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest A Muslim (مسلم pronounced Muslim, not Muzlim) is an adherent of the Religion A dhimmi ( ذمي, collectively أهل الذمة, ahl al-dhimma, the people of the dhimma or pact of protection Ottoman Turkish
In Antiquity a syncretic point-of-view often allowed communities of traders to operate under their own customs. Classical antiquity (also the classical era or classical period) is a broad term for a long period of cultural History centered on the Mediterranean Syncretism consists of the attempt to reconcile disparate or contradictory beliefs often while melding practices of various schools of thought When street mobs of separate quarters clashed in a Hellenistic or Roman city, the issue was generally perceived to be an infringement of community rights. This article focuses on the cultural aspects of the Hellenistic age for the historical aspects see Hellenistic period. Ancient Rome was a Civilization that grew out of a small agricultural community founded on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 10th century BC The Greek-Jewish clashes at Cyrene provided one example of cosmopolitan cities as scenes of tumult.
Some of the historical exceptions have been in regions where one of the revealed religions has been in a position of power: Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity and Islam. Judaism (from the Greek Ioudaïsmos, derived from the Hebrew יהודה Yehudah, " Judah " in Hebrew יַהֲדוּת Yahedut Zoroastrianism (ˌzɔroʊˈæstriəˌnɪzəm is the religion and philosophy based on the teachings Christianity ( Greek Χριστιανισμός from the word Xριστός ( Christ)is a monotheistic Religion centered on the life and teachings For other meanings including people named 'Islam' see Islam (disambiguation. Others have been where the established order has felt threatened, as shown in the trial of Socrates or where the ruler has been deified, as in Rome, and refusal to offer token sacrifice was similar to refusing to take an oath of allegiance. The trial of Socrates refers to the Trial and the subsequent execution of the Athenian Philosopher Socrates in 399 BC. Sacrifice (from a Middle English verb meaning "to make sacred" from Old French, from Latin sacrificium: sacr, "sacred" An oath of allegiance is an Oath whereby a subject or Citizen acknowledges his/her duty of Allegiance and swears loyalty to his Monarch This was the core for resentment and the persecution of early Christian communities. The persecution of Christians refers to the Religious persecution of Christians both historically and in the current era
The first mother of religious freedom was established in the ancient Persian Empire by its founder Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BC, as stated in his Cyrus cylinder. The Persian Empire was a series of Iranian empires that ruled over the Iranian plateau, the original Persian homeland and beyond in Western Asia The Cyrus cylinder, also known as the Cyrus the Great cylinder, is a document issued by the Persian emperor Cyrus the Great in the form of a clay
Freedom of religious worship was established in the Maurya Empire of ancient India by Ashoka the Great in the 3rd century BC, which was encapsulated in the Edicts of Ashoka. The Maurya Empire ( 322 – 185 BCE) ruled by the Mauryan dynasty was a geographically extensive and powerful political and military This article is about the history of South Asia prior to the Partition of British India in 1947 Ashoka ( Devanāgarī: अशोकः IAST: Aśokaḥ, aɕoːkə(hə Prakrit Imperial title Devanampriya Priyadarsi The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka, as well as boulders and cave walls made by the Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan
The Norman Kingdom of Sicily under Roger II was characterised by its multi-ethnic nature and religious tolerance. The Kingdom of Sicily (Regnum Siciliae or Sicilie Regno di Sicilia, commonly abbreviated Regno) was a state that existed in the south of Italy Roger II ( 22 December 1095 &ndash 26 February 1154) was King of Sicily, son of Roger I of Sicily and successor to his Normans, Jews, Muslim Arabs, Byzantine Greeks, Longobards and "native" Sicilians lived in harmony.  Rather than exterminate the Muslims of Sicily, Roger II's grandson Emperor Frederick II of Hohenstaufen (1215—1250) allowed them to settle on the mainland and build mosques. Frederick II ( December 26, 1194 &ndash December 13, 1250) of the Hohenstaufen dynasty was a Pretender to the title Not least, he enlisted them in his — Christian — army and even into his personal bodyguards. 
The General Charter of Jewish Liberties known as the Statute of Kalisz was issued by the Duke of Greater Poland Boleslaus the Pious on September 8, 1264 in Kalisz. The General Charter of Jewish Liberties known as the Statute of Kalisz was issued by the Duke of Greater Poland Boleslaus the Pious on September 8 Greater Poland or Great Poland, Polish Wielkopolska (Großpolen Latin: Polonia Maior) is a historical region of west-central Poland Boleslaw the Pious (born between 1221-1227 died 14 April 1279) was a Duke of Greater Poland (provinces of Poznań, Kalisz Events 70 - Roman forces under Titus sack Jerusalem. 1264 - The Statute of Kalisz Kalisz is a City in central Poland with 109800 inhabitants (1995 The statute served as the basis for the legal position of Jews in Poland and led to creation of the Yiddish-speaking autonomous Jewish nation until 1795. Yiddish (yi [[wiktייִדיש ייִדיש]] yidish or yi [[wiktאידיש אידיש]] idish, literally "Jewish" is a nonterritorial High The statute granted exclusive jurisdiction of Jewish courts over Jewish matters and established a separate tribunal for matters involving Christians and Jews. PLEASE TAKE NOTE************ Additionally, it guaranteed personal liberties and safety for Jews including freedom of religion, travel, and trade. The statute was ratified by subsequent Polish Kings: Casimir III of Poland in 1334, Casimir IV of Poland in 1453 and Sigismund I of Poland in 1539. Casimir III the Great (Kazimierz Wielki April 30 1310 – November 5 1370 last King of Poland from the Piast dynasty (1333–1370 was the son of King Władysław Casimir IV Jagiellon (Kazimierz IV Jagiellończyk; Kazimieras Jogailaitis Kazimir Jahajłavič 30 November 1427 &ndash Sigismund I the Old (Zygmunt I Stary Žygimantas II Senasis 1 January 1467 – 1 April 1548) of the Jagiellon dynasty reigned as
After the fall of the city of Granada Spain in 1492 the Muslim population was promised religious freedom by the Treaty of Granada, but that promise was short-lived. Granada is a city and the capital of the province of Granada, in the autonomous region of Andalusia, Spain. The Treaty of Granada was signed and ratified on November 25, 1491 between the king of Granada Abú `Abd Allah Muhammad Boabdil and In 1501 Granada's Muslims were given an ultimatum to either convert to Christianity or to emigrate. The majority converted, but only superficially, continuing to dress and speak as they had before and to secretly practice Islam. For other meanings including people named 'Islam' see Islam (disambiguation. The Moriscos (converts to Christianity) were ultimately expelled from Spain between 1609 (Castile) and 1614 (rest of Spain), by Philip III. A morisco (Spanish " Moor -like" or mourisco (Portuguese was any Muslim of Spain or Portugal Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. after he farted he ate chicken and farted some more Philip III (Felipe III April 14, 1578 &ndash March 31, 1621) was the King
The Roman Catholic Church kept a tight rein on religious expression throughout the Middle Ages. Jews were alternately tolerated and persecuted, the most notable examples of the latter being the expulsion of all Jews from Spain in 1492. Spanish Jews once constituted one of the largest and most prosperous Jewish communities under Muslim and Christian rule in Spain, before they Some of those who remained and converted were tried as heretics in the Inquisition for allegedly practicing Judaism in secret. The term Inquisition can refer to any one of several institutions charged with trying and convicting heretics within the Roman Catholic Church and Despite the persecution of Jews, they were the most tolerated non-Catholic faith in Europe.
However, the latter was in part a reaction to the growing movement that became the Reformation. The Protestant Reformation was a reform movement in Europe that began in 1517 though its roots lie further back in time As early as 1380, John Wycliffe in England denied transubstantiation and began his translation of the Bible into English. John Wycliffe (ˈwɪklɪf also spelled Wyclif, Wycliff, Wiclef, Wicliffe, or Wickliffe) (mid-1320s – 31 December See also Eucharist (Catholic Church On the related belief that Christ is present in the Eucharist in body blood soul and divinity see Real Presence. He was condemned in a Papal Bull in 1410, and all his books were burned. A Papal bull is a particular type of Letters patent or charter issued by a Pope.
In 1414 Jan Hus, a Bohemian preacher of reformation, was given a safe conduct by the Holy Roman Emperor to attend the Council of Constance. Jan Hus ( (ˈjan ˈɦus alternative spellings John Hus, Jan Huss, John Huss) (c Bohemia (Čechy; Bohemia Czechy is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands, currently the In the Roman Catholic Church, the Council of Constance is the 16th Ecumenical council. Not entirely trusting in his safety, he made his will before he left. His forebodings proved accurate, and he was burned at the stake on July 6, 1415. Events 1044 - The Battle of Ménfő takes place 1189 - Richard the Lionheart is crowned King of England The Council also decreed that Wycliffe's remains be disinterred and cast out. This decree was not carried out until 1428.
Martin Luther published his famous 95 Theses in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517. Martin Luther (November 10 1483 February 18 1546 was a German Monk, theologian, university professor Father of Protestantism, and church reformer Wittenberg, officially Lutherstadt Wittenberg, is a Town in Germany in the Bundesland Saxony-Anhalt, on the Elbe Events 445 BC – Ezra reads the Book of the Law to the Israelites in Jerusalem (see Nehemiah 91 NLTse His aim was to stop the sale of indulgences and reform the Church from within, but this was not the result. An indulgence, in Roman Catholic Theology, is the full or partial Remission of temporal punishment due for Sins which have already been forgiven In 1521 he was given the chance to recant at the Diet of Worms before Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, then only 19. The Diet of Worms (Reichstag zu Worms was a general assembly of the estates of the Holy Roman Emperor that took place in Worms, a small town Charles V (24 February 1500 &ndash 21 September 1558 was After he refused to recant he was declared heretic. Partly for his own protection, he was sequestered on the Wartburg in the possessions of Frederick III, Elector of Saxony, where he translated the New Testament into German. For other uses of Wartburg see Wartburg (disambiguation The Wartburg is a castle situated on a 1230-foot (410 m precipice to the Frederick III Elector of Saxony ( 17 January 1463 &ndash 5 May 1525) also known as Frederick the Wise, was Elector He was excommunicated by Papal Bull in 1521.
The Protestant movement, however, continued to gain ground in his absence and spread to Switzerland. Protestantism refers to the forms of Christian faith and practice that originated in the 16th century Protestant Reformation. Switzerland (English pronunciation; Schweiz Swiss German: Schwyz or Schwiiz Suisse Svizzera Svizra officially the Swiss Confederation Huldrych Zwingli preached reform in Zürich from 1520 to 1523. Huldrych (or Ulrich) Zwingli (1 January 1484 &ndash 11 October 1531 was a leader of the Reformation in Switzerland. Zürich (, Zürich German: Züri, Zurich, Zurigo; in English generally Zurich) is the largest city in Switzerland and capital of the He opposed the sale of indulgences, celibacy, pilgrimages, pictures, statues, relics, altars, and organs. This culminated in outright war between the Swiss cantons that accepted Protestantism and the Catholics. The 26 cantons of Switzerland are the states of the Federal state of Switzerland. The Catholics were victorious, and Zwingli was killed in battle in 1531. The Catholic cantons were magnanimous in victory.
In the meantime, in Germany Philip Melanchthon drafted the Augsburg Confession as a common confession for the Lutherans and the free territories. Philipp Melanchthon (born Philipp Schwartzerd) ( February 16, 1497 &ndash April 19, 1560) was a German professor and theologian The Augsburg Confession, also known as the "Augustana" from its Latin name Confessio Augustana is the primary confession of faith of the Lutheran It was presented to Charles V in 1530.
The defiance of Papal authority proved contagious, and in 1533, when Henry VIII of England was excommunicated for his divorce and remarriage to Anne Boleyn, he promptly established a state church with bishops appointed by the crown. Henry VIII (28 June 1491 &ndash 28 January 1547 was King of England and Lord of Ireland, later King of Ireland and claimant to the Kingdom of This was not without internal opposition, and Thomas More, who had been his prime minister, was executed in 1535 for opposition to Henry. Sir Thomas More (7 February 1478 – 6 July 1535 from 1935 Saint Thomas More, was an English Lawyer, author and statesman who in his lifetime gained
In 1535 the Swiss canton of Geneva became Protestant, but the Protestants often proved as intolerant of differences of opinion as the Catholics. Geneva (Genève is the second-most populous city in Switzerland (after Zürich) and is the most populous city of Romandy (the French -speaking In 1536 the Bernese imposed the reformation on the canton of Vaud by conquest. The city of Berne or Bern (, Berne, Berna, Romansh: Berna, Bernese German: Bärn) is the Bundesstadt ( Federal The Canton of Vaud ( French pronunciation) is one of the 26 cantons of Switzerland and is located in Romandy, the southwestern part of the They sacked the cathedral in Lausanne and destroyed all its art and statuary. Lausanne ( pronounced, Losanna is a city in Romandy, the French -speaking part of Switzerland, situated on the shores of Lake Geneva John Calvin, who had been active in Geneva was expelled in 1538 in a power struggle, but he was invited back in 1540. John Calvin (or Jean Calvin) (10 July 1509 – 27 May 1564 was a French Protestant theologian during the Protestant Reformation and
The same kind of seesaw back and forth between Protestantism and Catholicism was evident in England when Mary I of England returned that country briefly to the Catholic fold in 1553. Mary I (18 February 1516 &ndash 17 November 1558 was Queen of England and Queen of Ireland from 19 July 1553 until her death However, her half-sister, Elizabeth I of England was to restore the Church of England in 1558, this time permanently. The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England, the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican The King James Bible commissioned by King James I of England and published in 1611 proved a landmark for Protestant worship. James VI and I (19 June 1566 – 27 March 1625 was King of Scotland as James VI, and King of England and King of Ireland as James
However, intolerance of dissident forms of Protestantism continued, as evidenced by the exodus of the Pilgrims who sought refuge, first in the Netherlands, and ultimately in America, founding the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts in 1620. Pilgrims, or Pilgrim Fathers (or Pilgrim Mothers) is a name commonly applied to the early settlers of the Plymouth Colony in present-day Plymouth The Netherlands ( Dutch:, ˈnedərlɑnt is the European part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, which consists of the Netherlands the Netherlands Plymouth Colony (sometimes New Plymouth or The Old Colony) was an English colonial venture in North America from 1620 until 1691 The Commonwealth of Massachusetts ( is a state located in the New England region of the northeastern United States. William Penn, the founder of Philadelphia was involved in a case which had a profound effect upon future American law and those of England. William Penn ( October 14, 1644 – July 30, 1718) was founder and "Absolute Proprietor" of the Province of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia (ˌfɪləˈdɛlfiə In a classic case of jury nullification the jury refused to convict William Penn of preaching a Quaker sermon, which was illegal. Jury nullification means making a law void by jury decision in other words "the process whereby a jury in a criminal case effectively nullifies a law by acquitting a defendant regardless Even though the jury was imprisoned for their acquittal, they stood by their decision and helped establish the freedom of religion.
In the Holy Roman Empire, Charles V agreed to tolerate Lutheranism in 1555 at the Peace of Augsburg. The Holy Roman Empire ( HRE; German Heiliges Römisches Reich (HRR, Latin Sacrum Romanum Imperium (SRI was a union of territories in Charles V (24 February 1500 &ndash 21 September 1558 was The Peace of Augsburg was a treaty between Ferdinand I, who replaced his brother Charles V as Holy Roman Emperor, and the forces of the Schmalkaldic Each state was to take the religion of its prince, but within those states, there was not necessarily religious tolerance. Citizens of other faiths could relocate to a more hospitable environment.
In 1558 the Transylvanian Diet of Turda declared free practice of both the Catholic and Lutheran religions, but prohibited Calvinism. Transylvania (Ardeal or ro ''Transilvania'' Erdély, see also other denominations) is a Central European region located in the eastern half of the Carpathian In Politics, a diet is a formal Deliberative assembly. The term is derived from Medieval Latin dietas, and ultimately comes from Turda (Thorenburg Hungarian: Torda) is a city and Municipality in Cluj County, Romania, situated on the Arieş River. Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the teachings of the sixteenth-century German reformer Martin Luther Calvinism (sometimes called the Reformed tradition, the Reformed faith, or Reformed theology) is a theological system and an approach to the Ten years later, in 1568, the Diet extended the freedom to all religions, declaring that "It is not allowed to anybody to intimidate anybody with captivity or expelling for his religion". The Edict of Turda is considered by mostly Hungarian historians as the first legal guarantee of religious freedom in the Christian Europe.
In France, although peace was made between Protestants and Catholics at the Treaty of Saint Germain in 1570, persecution continued, most notably in the Massacre of Saint Bartholomew's Day on August 24, 1572, in which many Protestants throughout France were killed. The Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, was signed on 10 September 1919 by the victorious Allies of World War I on the one hand and by the new The St Bartholomew's Day massacre ( Massacre de la Saint-Barthélemy in French) was a wave of Roman Catholic Mob violence against the Huguenots Events 49 BC - Julius Caesar 's General Gaius Scribonius Curio is defeated in the Second Battle of the Bagradas River It was not until the converted Protestant prince Henry IV of France came to the throne that religious tolerance was formalized in the Edict of Nantes in 1598. Henry IV (Henri IV ( 13 December 1553 &ndash 14 May 1610) ruled as King of France from 1589 to 1610 and as Henry III The Edict of Nantes was issued on April 13, 1598 by Henry IV of France to grant the Calvinist Protestants of It would remain in force for over 80 years until its revocation in 1685 by Louis XIV of France. Early years Birth and ancestry Louis XIV was born in the Château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye on September 5 1638 and bore the Heir apparent Intolerance remained the norm until the French Revolution, when state religion was abolished and all Church property confiscated. The French Revolution (1789–1799 was a period of political and social upheaval in the History of France, during which the French governmental structure previously an
In 1573 the Warsaw Confederation formalized, in the newly formed Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the freedom of religion that had a long tradition in the Kingdom of Poland. The Warsaw Confederation ( January 28, 1573) an important development in the History of Poland and Lithuania, is considered the formal beginning The Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, officially the Commonwealth of the Crown of the Polish Kingdom and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania also known as the Most Serene Republic The Kingdom of Poland of the Jagiellons was the Polish state created by the accession of Wladislaus II Jagiełło, Grand Duke of Lithuania, to The first extensive Jewish emigration from Western Europe to Poland occurred at the time of the First Crusade in 1098. The history of the Jews in Poland dates back over a Millennium. The First Crusade was launched in 1095 by Pope Urban II with the dual goals of conquering the sacred city of Jerusalem and the Holy Land and freeing Under Boleslaus III (1102–1139), the Jews, encouraged by the tolerant régime of this ruler, settled throughout Poland, including over the border into Lithuanian territory as far as Kiev. Bolesław III Wrymouth ( Bolesław III Krzywousty) 1085 – 1138) was Duke of Poland from Lithuania, officially the Republic of Lithuania (Lietuvos Respublika is a Country in Eastern often referred to as Northern Europe or in the Kiev, also known as Kyiv ( Ukrainian:, Kyiv, ˈkɪjiw Russian:, Kiyev; see also Cities' alternative names) is the The Tatars who settled in Lithuania, Ruthenia and modern-day eastern Poland were allowed to preserve their Islamic religion in exchange for military service. The Lipka Tatars (also known as Lithuanian Tatars, Belarusian Tatars, Lipkowie or Muślimi) are a group of Tatars living on the lands For other meanings including people named 'Islam' see Islam (disambiguation.
Bohemia (present-day Czech Republic) enjoyed religious freedom between 1436 and 1620, and became one of the most liberal countries of the Christian world during that period of time. The Czech Republic ( ˈt͡ʃɛskaː ˈrɛpuˌblɪka short form in Česko ˈt͡ʃɛskɔ also called Czechia, The so-called Basel Compacts of 1436 declared the freedom of religion and peace between Catholics and Utraquists. Bohemia (Čechy; Bohemia Czechy is a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands, currently the See " Utraquist school " for a kind of Bilingual schools Utraquism (from the Latin sub utraque specie, meaning In 1609 Emperor Rudolf II granted Bohemia greater religious liberty with his Letter of Majesty. Rudolf II ( July 18, 1552, Vienna, Austria - January 20, 1612, Prague, Bohemia, now part of The privileged position of the Catholic Church in the Czech kingdom was firmly established after the Battle of White Mountain in 1620. This is a list of rulers of Bohemia. Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, and Lusatia are territories which are or have The Battle of White Mountain, November 8, 1620 ( Bílá hora is the name of White Mountain in Czech was an early Battle in the Gradually freedom of religion in Bohemian lands came to an end and Protestants fled or were expelled from the country. The " Czech lands " (České země is an auxiliary term used mainly to describe the combination of Bohemia, Moravia and Czech Silesia. A devout Catholic, Emperor Ferdinand II forcibly converted Austrian and Bohemian Protestants. Ferdinand II Holy Roman Emperor ( July 9, 1578 &ndash February 15, 1637) of the House of Habsburg, reigned as Ferdinand II
Some of the early colonies, although many of them were founded as a result of religious persecution, were not tolerant of dissident forms of worship. In the United States Freedom of religion is a constitutionally guaranteed right provided in the religion clauses of the First Amendment. For example, Roger Williams found it necessary to found a new colony in Rhode Island to escape persecution in the theocratically dominated colony of Massachusetts. Roger Williams ( December 21, 1603 &ndash April 1, 1683) was an English theologian, a notable proponent of Religious Rhode Island ( officially named the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, is a state in the New England region of the United States
It was not until the 18th century that Enlightenment concepts of freedom of individual worship gained ground both in Europe and America. The Age of Enlightenment or The Enlightenment is a term used to describe a phase in Western philosophy and cultural life centered upon the eighteenth century
The modern legal concept of religious freedom as the union of freedom of belief and freedom of worship with the absence of any state-sponsored religion, originated in the United States of America. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the
Freedom of religion in the Indian subcontinent is exemplified by the reign of King Piyadasi (304 B. This article deals with the geophysical region in Asia For geopolitical treatments see South Asia. C to 232 B. C) (Asoka). Ashoka ( Devanāgarī: अशोकः IAST: Aśokaḥ, aɕoːkə(hə Prakrit Imperial title Devanampriya Priyadarsi One of King Asoka's main concerns was to reform governmental institutes and exercise moral principles in his attempt to create a just and humane society. The Edicts of Ashoka are a collection of 33 inscriptions on the Pillars of Ashoka, as well as boulders and cave walls made by the Emperor Ashoka of the Mauryan Later he promoted the principles of Buddhism, and the creation of a just, understanding and fair society was held as an important principle for many ancient rulers of this time in the East. Buddhism is a family of beliefs and practices
King Piyadasi (Ashok) dear to the Gods, honours all sects, the ascetics (hermits) or those who dwell at home, he honours them with charity and in other ways. Freedom of religion is the freedom of an individual or community in public or private to manifest religion or belief in teaching practice worship and observance Ashoka ( Devanāgarī: अशोकः IAST: Aśokaḥ, aɕoːkə(hə Prakrit Imperial title Devanampriya Priyadarsi But the King, dear to the Gods, attributes less importance to this charity and these honours than to the vow of seeing the reign of virtues, which constitutes the essential part of them. For all these virtues there is a common source, modesty of speech. That is to say, One must not exalt one’s creed discrediting all others, nor must one degrade these others Without legitimate reasons. One must, on the contrary, render to other creeds the honour befitting them.
Religious freedom and the right to worship freely was a practice that had been appreciated and promoted by most ancient India dynasties. This had been the underlying attitude of most rulers of India since this period from before 300 B. India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country C. until 1200 AD. The initial entry of Islam into South Asia came in the first century after the death of the Prophet Muhammad. For other meanings including people named 'Islam' see Islam (disambiguation. IMPORTANT PLEASE READ ##### For all questions relating to the addition of (pbuh peace be upon him or other honorifics When around 1210 AD the Islamic Sultanates invaded India from the north-east, gradually the principle of freedom of religion deteriorated in this part of the world. During the late Middle Ages, several Islamic Empires were established in South Asia. They were subsequently replaced by another Islamic invader in the form of Babur. For other meanings including people named 'Islam' see Islam (disambiguation. Babur ( February 14 1483 - December 26 1530) was a Muslim conqueror from Central Asia who following a series of setbacks The Mughal empire was founded by the Mongol leader Babur in 1526, when he defeated Ibrahim Lodi, the last of the Delhi Sultans at the First Battle of Panipat. Babur ( February 14 1483 - December 26 1530) was a Muslim conqueror from Central Asia who following a series of setbacks Ibrahim Lodhi (died April 21, 1526) was the last ruler of the Delhi Sultanate. The Delhi Sultanate ( Urdu: دلی سلطنت, दिल्ली सलतनत or Sultanat e Hind ( سلطنتِ هند; सलतनत ए The first battle of Panipat took place in northern India, and marked the beginning of the Mughal Empire. The word "Mughal" is the Indo-Iranian version of Mongol.
The contemporary idea of religious freedom as a human right remains a contested topic. The major areas of debate are listed below.
Some Islamic theologians quote the Quran ("There is no compulsion in religion," Sura 2:257, and "Say: O you who reject faith, I do not worship what you worship, nor do you worship what I worship. The Qur’an ( القرآن, literally "the recitation" also sometimes transliterated as Qur’ān, Koran, Alcoran . . To you be your religion, and to me be mine," Sura 109:1-6) to show scriptural support for religious freedom. However, other verses and the Hadith mandate severe treatment for unbelievers, which is reflected in the high levels of intolerance shown in many past and contemporary Islamic societies, and some Muslim scholars have disagreed with such ill-treatment. The slaughtering of Pagans, Christians and Jews was during the time of war (Battle of Badr) only against those who wish to harm the Muslims, and some Muslims have make this an excuse to the extend of executing apostates who leave Islam. In Sura 5:3, believed to be the last of God's revelation to Muhammad, is states that Muslims are to fear God and not those who reject Islam, and 53:39 every one is accountable only to one's own actions. Given that there is no clear evidence of indicating harm towards non-Muslims, it postulates that people are to be given religious freedom, even for the apostates, and every individual is answerable to God.
In Iran, the constitution recognizes four religions whose status is formally protected: Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Iran topics.  The constitution, however, also set the groundwork for the institutionalized persecution of Bahá'ís, who have been subjected to arrests, beatings, executions, confiscation and destruction of property, and the denial of civil rights and liberties, and the denial of access to higher education. The persecution of Bahá'ís is the Religious persecution of Bahá'ís in various countries especially in Iran, where the Bahá'í Faith originated and  In Egypt, a December 16, 2006 judgment of the Supreme Administrative Council created a clear demarcation between recognized religions — Islam, Christianity and Judaism — and all other religious beliefs; no other religious affiliation is officially admissible. This article is about the country of Egypt For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Egypt topics. Events 755 - An Lushan revolts against Chancellor Yang Guozhong at Fanyang, initiating the An Shi Rebellion Year 2006 ( MMVI) was a Common year starting on Sunday of the Gregorian calendar. The Supreme Constitutional Court (المحكمة الدستورية العليا (or SCC) is an independent judiciary body in the Arab Republic of Egypt, with  The ruling leaves members of other religious communities, including Bahá'ís, without the ability to obtain the necessary government documents to have rights in their country, essentially denying them of all rights of citizenship.  They cannot obtain ID cards, birth certificates, death certificates, marriage or divorce certificates, and passports; they also cannot be employed, educated, treated in public hospitals or vote, among other things.  See Egyptian identification card controversy. The Egyptian identification card controversy resulted from a ruling of the Supreme Administrative Council of Egypt on December 16, 2006 against the
The Roman Catholic Church affirmed religious freedom for all in the Second Vatican Council Declaration Dignitatis Humanae. The Second Ecumenical Council of the Vatican, or Vatican II, was the twentieth century Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. Dignitatis Humanæ is the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on Religious Freedom. This was itself inspired by the work of the Jesuit theologian John Courtney Murray. The Society of Jesus ( Latin: Societas Iesu, SJ and SI or SJ, SI) is a Catholic religious order The Reverend John Courtney Murray, SJ ( September 12, 1904 &mdash August 16, 1967) was a Jesuit priest, Some Orthodox Christians, especially those living in democratic countries, support religious freedom for all, as evidenced by the position of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Democracy is a form of government in which the supreme power is held completely by the people under a free electoral system History Early history Christianity in Byzantium existed from the time of the Twelve Apostles, but it was in the year 330 that the Roman Emperor Many Protestant Christian churches, including some Baptists, Churches of Christ, Seventh-day Adventist Church and main line churches have a commitment to religious freedoms. Baptist is a term describing individuals belonging to a Baptist church or a Baptist denomination. The Churches of Christ in Australia is a Christian movement in Australia The Seventh-day Adventist (abbreviated " Adventist " Church is a Christian denomination which is distinguished mainly by its observance for other uses see Mainline (disambiguation The mainline (also sometimes called Mainstream) or mainline Protestant denominations The Mormons (Latter-Day Saints) also affirm religious freedom. TalkMormon#Latter Day Saint vs Latter-day Saint --> Mormon
However others, such as African scholar Makau Mutua, have argued that Christian insistence on the propagation of their faith to native cultures as an element of religious freedom has resulted in a corresponding denial of religious freedom to native traditions and led to their destruction. As he states in the book produced by the Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief -- "Imperial religions have necessarily violated individual conscience and the communal expressions of Africans and their communities by subverting African religions. "
In fact, the fundamental Christian belief that non-Christians need to be converted to Christianity in order to be "saved" is an affront to the religious freedom of those who follow other faiths or identify as atheists. Because of this central belief, Christianity has been said to be inherently counter to religious freedom, and many Christians have denounced this proselytizing aspect of their faith. 
Among the most contentious areas of religious freedom is the "Right to Change" one's religion.
Other debates have centered around restricting certain kinds of missionary activity by religions. Many Islamic states, and others such as China, severely restrict missionary activities of other religions. Greece, among European countries, has generally looked unfavorably on missionary activities of denominations others than the majority church and proselytizing is constitutionally prohibited. Greece (Ελλάδα transliterated: Elláda, historically, Ellás,) officially the Hellenic Republic (Ελληνική Δημοκρατία 
A different kind of critique of the freedom to propagate religion has come from non-Abrahamic traditions such as the African and Indian. African scholar Makau Mutua criticizes religious evangelism on the ground of cultural annihilation by what he calls "proselytizing universalist faiths. "
the (human) rights regime incorrectly assumes a level playing field by requiring that African religions compete in the marketplace of ideas. The rights corpus not only forcibly imposes on African religions the obligation to compete—a task for which as nonproselytizing, noncompetitive creeds they are not historically fashioned—but also protects the evangelizing religions in their march towards universalization … it seems inconceivable that the human rights regime would have intended to protect the right of certain religions to destroy others.
Some Indian scholars have similarly argued that the right to propagate religion is not culturally or religiously neutral.
In Sri Lanka there have been debates regarding a bill on religious freedom that seeks to protect indigenous religious traditions from certain kinds of missionary activities. Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka ( Sinhalese:, இலங்கை known as Ceylon before 1972 is an Island Debates have also occurred in various states of India regarding similar laws, particularly those that restrict conversions using force, fraud or allurement. India, officially the Republic of India (भारत गणराज्य inc-Latn Bhārat Gaṇarājya; see also other Indian languages) is a country
Religious practice may also conflict with secular law creating debates on religious freedom. For instance, even though polygamy is permitted in Islam it is prohibited in secular law in many Western countries. The term polygamy (a Greek word meaning "the practice of multiple marriage" is used in related ways in Social anthropology, Sociobiology, and Does prohibiting polygamy then curtail the religious freedom of Muslims? The USA and India have taken two different views of this. In India polygamy is permitted, but only for Muslims, under Muslim Personal Law. In the USA polygamy is prohibited for all. This was a major source of conflict between the early Mormon Church and the United States until the Church amended its position on polygamy. TalkMormon#Latter Day Saint vs Latter-day Saint --> Mormon
Similar issues have also arisen in the context of the religious use of psychedelic substances by Native American tribes in the United States as well as other Native practices. Modern psychedelia For "psychedelics" see Psychedelic drug.
In international law the freedom of religion and belief is protected by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). A religion is a set of Tenets and practices often centered upon specific Supernatural and moral claims about Reality, the Cosmos The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is a United Nations Treaty based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, created in This protection extends to specifically non-religious beliefs, such as Humanism. See also philosophical Humanism For the Renaissance liberal arts movement see Renaissance humanism Humanism is
The United States formally considers religious freedom in its foreign relations. The International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 established the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom which investigates the records of over 200 other nations with respect to religious freedom, and makes recommendations to submit nations with egregious records to ongoing scrutiny and possible economic sanctions. History This Act was a response to the growing concern about Religious persecution throughout the world The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF is a US government agency created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to monitor the status Many human rights organizations have urged the United States to be still more vigorous in imposing sanctions on countries that do not permit or tolerate religious freedom.
Some critics charge that the United States policy on religious freedom is largely directed towards the rights of Christians, particularly the ability for Christian missionaries to evangelize, in other countries.