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Freedom of Conscience

Human Rights

Photo: Muslim believers from Bulgaria resettled in Turkey as a result of discrimination. Shutterstock

“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.” United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 18

“Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. No one may be compelled to belong to an association.” United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 20

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging...the right of the people peaceably to assemble.” Constitution of the United States of America, Amendment I


All individuals have the inalienable right to believe according to their conscience, to adopt or change religion without compulsion or prohibition, to worship without harm to others, and to share peaceful beliefs without harassment or intimidation. 

Freedom of conscience includes the right not to believe in any creed or dogma and to engage in public and private critique of religion, ideology, or belief without violence, harassment or intimidation.  

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