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Religious Freedom

Does Protecting the Right to Proselytize Violate Religious Freedom?

One of the more complicated religious freedoms, the right to proselytize has both supporters and detractors. Proselytism can be defined as the attempt to persuade another individual to change his or her religion.

You Cannot Redeem Proselytism

Last March the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Development, and World Affairs published a series of short papers about proselytism in their publication Cornerstone. Each author was invited to respond to the following statement:

What Does Religious Freedom Really Mean?

Whenever I hear some of my fellow Christians talk about “religious freedom,” I think of that line from “The Princess Bride”: “You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.”

What Losing Your Religious Freedom Actually Looks Like

A district court in Ethiopia has charged six members of an Ethiopian Orthodox Church (EOC) with inciting public disturbance, destroying public trust in government officials and spreading hatred after it surfaced in the media that official complaints were made to the government about increasing persecution of Christians in a Muslim-dominated area in the south of the country.

The Theological Hijacking of Religious “Freedom”

Since the passage and quick “fix” of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) there has been a robust national conversation about the merits and particularities of the such laws. But noticeably absent from that conversation was any serious dialogue about the relationship between theology and the law.

Revisioning Nepal as an Interfaith-Friendly Hindu State

With a current population of around 30 million, Nepal used to be the only constitutionally declared Hindu nation in the world. The now-defunct constitution of 1990, in effect until January 15, 2007, described the country as a “Hindu Kingdom,” whilst not establishing Hinduism as the state religion. Then came the Communist Party of Nepal and its secular “Republic.”

Restoring Bear Lodge’s Sacred Name

For the many Native Americans engaged with Religions for Peace USA through the National Congress of American Indians and other affiliations, sacred spaces and certain key geographic landmarks are essential components to their spiritual practices. They serve as places of prayer and as signs of their peoples’ identity and longevity in this country.

Confronting My Temptation to Ban Books

We all know that banning books is wrong. So why is it so tempting?

Last month, for the 32nd year, The American Library Association observed Banned Books Week, a celebration of the “freedom to read” and a chance to bring “national attention to the harms of censorship.”

Religious Freedom on the Brink

A shorter version of this article was originally published October 12, 2012 by the Huffington Post. Mr. Speckhardt has added several paragraphs at the end, updating his analysis. A library of stories dramatizing his thesis have been written since; his basic focus on the “need to ensure that a person’s freedom of thought and speech is paramount” continues to ground the whole issue of religious freedom. Ed.

The End of Religious Freedom?

What is religious freedom? Is it the freedom to worship or otherwise interact with God, gods, or other things and entities as one sees fit? Is it freedom of conscience in terms of the supernatural? If religious freedom also involves the right to live out one’s religion in the public sphere, how far does that right extent? If religious freedom involves the right of churches (and like organizations) as well as individuals, to what extent do they operate independently of state control? Steven D. Smith’s The Rise and Decline of American Religious Freedom is an elegy for an expansive understanding of the “first freedom” protected by the First Amendment.

Interfaith Networking Catching on in Europe

Bringing Everyone to the Table

Hate and Love: Responses to the Baha’is of Iran

A Plea for Justice, However Delayed

The Genesis of International Interfaith Organizing

The International Association for Religious Freedom – a Profile<

Religious Freedom, Meet Secularism — Your Best Ally

In what could go down as one of its most notable reckonings of the era, the Supreme Court heard arguments next week in two major gay marriage cases. As the advocates and justices prepare to spar over California’s Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act, important constitutional principles had a much-needed day in the sun.

Religion, Politics, Freedom, Faith & Making Movies in America

College-educated American women asked me at the dinner table, “But why would you want to do a film about Muslims?” “You know they’re out to get us.”