Law Society In Dhaka

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 teaching practice worship and observation.


Everyone has the right to freedom of religion and belief includes the right to hold a belief 1, the right to change one’s religion or belief 2. In addition, the right to express one’s religion or belief 3, and the right not to hold a belief. In contrast, the right to believe is not limited to religion. Similarly, it also includes atheistic beliefs. For instance it is a matter of conscience such as pacifism and conscientious objection to military service. Moreover, Freedom of religion is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or community to manifest religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance4. Also, the opinion is generally recognized also to include the freedom to change religion or not to follow any religion. On the other hand, thousands of religionists believe that their religion is the only true religion and all the other religions are false and forcible conversion other religious people5. In summary, we believe that there is someone who created this universe, we called him God. On the whole, when he created this beautiful world with so many creatures, he has not created this nasty religions and all this. Consequently, there are controversial activities occurring between different groups of religious5. Finally, if god has created all human being alike two hands, two legs, same nose, ear, blood, then there has no bizarre events occur.

1. Everyone:  All human beings have this right, and it is not limited in its availability to citizens or even permanent residents. Nonresident aliens and stateless persons have the right to freedom of religion or belief. Article 9 guarantees that you can think what you want and can hold any religious or non-religious belief that you wish. It therefore protects religious belief and the beliefs of atheists, agnostics and those that are indifferent to religion, alike. You cannot be forced to follow or practice a particular religion and cannot be prevented from changing your religion. You are also protected from indoctrination by the State. This part of Article 9 is an absolute right and can never be interfered with                                                                                                                                     2. It is now established that religious freedom cannot be dissociated from the freedom to change religion. As long ago as 1986, Elisabeth Odio Bénito wrote of the 1948 and 1981 Declarations and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that, although they varied slightly in wording, all meant precisely the same thing: that everyone had the right to leave one’s religion or belief and to adopt another.                                                                                                                                                                                     3. In its general comment 22 on article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Human Rights Committee reached the same conclusion. It observes that the freedom to “have or express” a religion or belief necessarily entails a freedom to choose a religion or belief, including the right to replace one’s current religion or belief with another or to adopt atheistic views, as well as the right to retain one’s religion.  4. These situations include cases where members of religious groups try to convert other people by “unethical” means such as the promise of material benefit or by taking advantage of the vulnerable situation of the person whose conversion is sought. Such conversions are sometimes prohibited by law and the acts facilitating such conversion may constitute a criminal offence. In some countries, legislation prohibits conversion without prior notification of the authorities or defines “forcible” conversion in broad terms                                                                                       5.Many human rights organizations have posted a “watch list” of those countries where freedom of religion or belief is most significantly curtailed. And an examination of virtually all such lists will show that many of those same countries are also plagued by religious extremism. The connection is clear: extremism tends to flourish where there is less freedom to adopt and practice the religion of one’s choice

Article 9 has protected the right to manifest your religion in worship, teaching, practice or observance. In addition, it can practice whether alone or with others and whether in public or private. Nevertheless, this aspect of Article 9 qualified right which means that an interference with the right can be justified in assured conditions. The conditions in which interference can be acceptable are similar to those which substantiate an interfering with rights under Article 8. Similarly, it also includes the aim of protecting the rights and freedoms of others and public order (see section headed ‘A qualified right’ under Article 8.)

Two of the international instruments which are scheduled to the HREOCA have special relevance o the freedom of religion and belief:

v     The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966) (‘the ICCPR”) and

v     The Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief (1981) (“the Religion Declaration”)6

Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.7

6. The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CROC) also prescribes that States parties shall respect the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, (article 14.1) and that the State shall respect the rights and duties of the parents and, when applicable, legal guardians, to provide direction to the child in the exercise of his or her right in a manner consistent with the evolving capacities of the child (article 14.2). Although the CROC and the ICCPR are not directly implemented in Australia and do not therefore form part of Australian law, they have been ratified by Australia and so are legally binding on Australia in international law. They affect domestic law to the extent that where legislation permits a discretion that discretion should be exercised in conformity with Australia’s international treaty obligations. The Religion Declaration is not a treaty but is a valuable tool for interpreting the scope of ICCPR article 18.                                                                                                               7.  Although there are no limitations on the freedom to believe, the freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs is subject to limitations, set out in ICCPR article 18.3. However, this limitations clause was given a restrictive interpretation by the United Nations Human Rights Committee in General Comment No. 22, (1993) which stated that: Limitations may be applied only for those purposes for which they are prescribed and must be directly related and proportionate to the specific need on which they are predicated. Restrictions may not be imposed for discriminatory purposes or applied in a discriminatory manner.                                                                                                                                                            7. The Committee observes that the concept of morals derives from many social, philosophical, and religious traditions; consequently limitations on the freedom to manifest a religion or belief for the purpose of protecting morals must be based on principles not deriving exclusively from a single tradition. So, unlike the freedom of religion itself, the freedom of religious practice or ‘manifestation’ can be limited by law provided the limitation is necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.

What is meaning of “Thought, Conscience and Religion”?

The use of the conditions “thought, conscience and religion” suggests a potentially wide scope for Article 9. In addition, that are indicates narrower approach adopted in practice. Meanwhile, A “consciousness” of belonging to a minority group (the aim of seeking to protect a group’s cultural identity) 8 does not give rise to an Article 9 issue.  Furthermore, “belief” is not the same as “opinion”. Similarly, personal beliefs to fall within Article 9 protection must “attain a certain level of clear thought, significance, consistency and importance” and further be such as to be measured compatible with respect for human self-esteem. For example, the belief must relate to a “weighty and substantial aspect of human life and behavior” and also be such as to be deemed creditable of defense in European democratic society.9 Beliefs in assisted suicide10 or language preferences11 or disposal of human remains after death12 do not involve “beliefs” within the meaning of the provision. On the other hand, pacifism, atheism14 and veganism15 are value- systems clearly encompassed by Article 9 as is a political ideology such as communism,16(although as noted interferences with thought and conscience will often be treated as giving rise to issues arising within the scope of Article 10’s guarantee of freedom of expression or the right of association under Article 11.) 17

8. Cserjés v. Hungary (dec.), no. 45599/99, 5 April 2001.

9. Sidiropoulos and others v. Greece, Reports 1998-IV, para. 41.

10. Campbell and Cosans v. United Kingdom, judgment of 25 February 1982, Series Ano. 48, at Para. 36.
11.Pretty v. the United Kingdom, no. 2346/02, Reports 2002-III
12.Belgian Linguistic case, judgment of 23 July 1968, Series A no. 6, Law, para. 6.

13. Appl. no. 8741/79, X v. Germany, (1981) DR24, p. 137 (but matter can fall within the  scope of Article 8 Appl. no. 7050/75, Arrow smith v. the United Kingdom, (1978) DR19, p. 5.
14. Appl. no. 10491/83, Angelina v. Sweden, (1986), DR51, p. 41.
15. Appl. no. 18187/91 W v. the United Kingdom, decision of 10 February 1993.

16. Appl. nos. 16311/90, 16312/90 and 16313/90, Hazar, Hazar and Acik v. Turkey,  (1991) DR72, p. 200.

17. See for example Vogt v. Germany, judgment of 26 September 1995, Series A no. 323

It is significant to make a note of that belief as well as non-religious belief are also confined by Article 9: As enshrined in Article 9, freedom of thought, conscience and religion is one of the fundamentals of a “democratic society” within the meaning of the Convention. In particular, it is religious dimension, one of the most essential elements that go to make up the identity of believer. Furthermore, the pluralism in dissociable from a democratic society, which has been dearly won over the centuries, depends on it. In contrast, According to Article 9, freedom to manifest one’s religion is not only exercisable in group of people with others, “in public”. Moreover, the surround of those whose faith one shares, but can also be asserted “alone” and “in private”. Furthermore, it includes in principle the right to try to convince one’s neighbor.  For example, it included “teaching”, and “freedom to change one’s religion or belief” would be likely to continue a dead letter.19 In contrast, the Commission and Court have not established to date to give a definite explanation to what is meaning of “religion”. Similarly, it considered “mainstream” religions are readily conventional as trust systems lessening within the scope of the defense.20 Furthermore, it covered are minority variants of such faiths.21Older faiths such as Druidism also qualify22 as do religious movements of more recent origin such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, 23 Scientology, 24 the Moon Sect25 and the Divine Light Zentrum26 and thus where there is a doubt as regards.

18. Kokkinakis v. Greece, judgment of 25 May 1993, Series A no. 260-A, at para. 31.

19. See, e.g., Appl. no. 20490/92, ISKON and 8 others v. the United Kingdom, (1994) DR76,      p.90.
20. E.g., Cha’are Shalom Ve Tsedek v. France [GC], no. 27417/95, Reports 2000-VII.
21. Appl. no. 12587/86, Chappell v. the United Kingdom, (1987) DR53, p. 241.
22. Kokkinakis v. Greece, judgment of 25 May 1993, Series A no. 260-A.
23. Appl. no. 7805/77, X and Church of Scientology v. Sweden, (1979), DR16, p. 68.
24. Appl. no. 8652/79, X v. Austria, (1981) DR26, p. 89.

25. Appl. no. 8188/77, Omkarananda and the Divine Light Zentrum v. the United King- dom, (1981) DR25, p. 105

The Declaration equates freedom of thought and conscience to freedom of belief, and subjects that freedom to the same norms which apply to freedom of religion.

(a)The right to Believe

Freedom of religion includes two closely related as internationally perceived. In addition, it is

Clearly distinguishable: freedom to adopt a religion of one’s own choice and freedom to manifest that religion o in worship, observance, practice, and teaching 26. The outside act of manifest one’s religion can be subjected to limitations under international law only if the restrictions (i) are approved by law, and (ii) are essential to defend public safety, categorize, health, or ethics or the fundamental rights of others27. It is conspicuous that Freedom to consider a particular religion is protected by the relevant instruments of international law.

(b) The Right to Change Religion or Belief

The right to alteration one’s religion was recorded in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966 (“ICCPR”) as “freedom to have or adopt a religion or belief of his choice.”6 In addition , the provisions in the Declaration on bias regarding “freedom to have a religion or whatever belief of his choice”28 and “freedom to manifest his religion or belief in  practice and teaching,” combined with the prohibition of “coercion which would impair his freedom to have a religion or belief of his choice,”29 sufficiently support a right to change one’s religion or belief.30 All of the provisions in the Declaration on Discrimination are furthermore subordinate to the superior authority of the Universal Declaration and the International Human Rights Covenants.

26. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Dec. 16, 1966, art. 18(1), 6 I.L.M. 368, 374 [hereinafter ICCPR]; Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief , G.A. Res. 36/55, U.N. GAOR, 36th Sess., Supp. 51, at 171, U.N. Doc. A/36/684 (1981)  [hereinafter DECL. FROB].

27. ICCPR, supra note 4, art. 18(3); DECL. FROB, supra note 4, art. 1(3).

28. ICCPR, supra note 4, art. 18(1).

29.  See E. Odio Benito, Study of the Current Dimensions of the Problems of Intolerance and of Discrimination on Grounds of Religion or Belief, U.N. ESCOR, 39th Sess., at 4, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/Sub.2/1987/26 (1986).

30.  DECL. FROB, supra note 4, art. 8. “Nothing in the present Declaration shall be construed as restricting or derogating from any rights defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human Rights.” Id.

(c) The Right to Manifest Religion or Belief

It is clear that freedom to believe is a permanent right. In addition, it is not clear freedom to manifest one’s religion or belief. Consequently,  the Universal statement subjects all the human rights and freedoms announcement to general limitation provisions declaring that everyone has duties to his community “in which alone the free and full development of his personality is possible,”31. There are prohibiting the exercise of any of the rights and freedoms those opposing to the purposes and morality of the United Nations.  These rights and freedoms are also subjected to more specific restrictions are enacted solely for the purpose of securing. Similarly, it gives recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others. Furthermore, it is upholding the just requirement of morality, public order, and the general welfare in a democratic society. For instance, the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights repeats are prohibiting actions and  this acts designed at the damage of any of the rights and freedoms.32 Even though,  the main elements of religious freedom was made  by the founders of the United Nations.33 In contrast, it would be considered hateful to the religious convictions of a section of the South African population.34 The Court decided that “religion” essentially involves the belief , some kind of obligation to, and the serving , a absolute being or unseen power.35

31. UDHR, supra note 1, art. 29(1).

32.  ICCPR, supra note 4, art. 5. (1).

33.  Natan Lerner identified “matters of conversion” and “opting-out from some religions or recognized religious communities” as belonging to “particularly complicated problems that continue to arouse controversy” in the context of religious freedom. Natan Lerner, Religious Human Rights under the United Nations, in RELIGIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS IN GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE: LEGAL PERSPECTIVES 79, 133 (Johan D. van der Vyver & John Witte Jr. eds., Martinus Nijhoff Publishers 1996).

34. Publications Act 42 of 1974, § 47(2) (subsequently repealed), Annual Survey of South African Law 1996 (Juta & Co. Ltd. 1998).; Publ’n Control Bd. v. Gallo (Afr.) Ltd., 1975 (3) SA 665 (A), 671-672.

35. Publ’n Control Bd. v. Gallo (Afr.) Ltd., 1975 (3) SA 665 (A), 672.


The State has duty to protect religious freedom apart from international law. In addition, the State has to show responsible duty in religious matter. Nevertheless, develop countries have showed copious religious freedom. In particular, John Locke, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson have said that the duty of the State in relation to religion flows from the nature of religion and ethics.  Thomas Jefferson gave appearance to the Danbury Baptist Association when he said:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”, thus building a wall of separation between church and State3.”36

In contrast, the Islamic world this view apparently holds control37. Consequently, these countries in the name of religion, some State-accepted interpretations of Islamic law leave little or no practice for freedom of religion.38

36.Vatican Council II Dignitatis Humanae (Declaration on Religious Freedom), quoted in David Hollenbach, SJ “A communitarian reconstruction of human rights: contributions from Catholic tradition” in R. Bruce Douglass & David Hollenbach, Catholic Liberalism (Cambridge University Press, 1994), p 127

37. In Egypt, as in virtually all Muslim states, a person’s official religion is displayed on their identity card. According to Sharia, every child born to a Muslim father is deemed Muslim from birth. According to Sharia, a Muslim woman is only permitted to marry a Muslim man. (This is the main reason why Christian men convert to Islam, and why female converts to Christianity will risk life and liberty to secure a falsified/illegal ID, for without a Christian ID they cannot marry a Christian.)
38.Believing that fundamental rights and universal freedoms in Islam are an integral part of the Islamic religion and that no one as a matter of principle has the right to suspend them in whole or in part or violate or ignore them in as much as they are binding divine commandments, which are contained in the Revealed Books of God and were sent through the last of His Prophets to complete the preceding divine messages thereby making their observance an act of worship and their neglect or violation an abominable sin, and accordingly every person is individually responsible — and the Ummah collectively responsible — for their safeguard.

Freedom of religion in Bangladesh

The Constitution of Bangladesh establishes Islam as the state religion. In addition, it provides for the right to allow, follow, subject to law, principle, public order, and ethics, the religion of one’s choice. Furthermore, there was many reports released which mainly highlighted our religious overall perspective39. Similarly, it also states that every religious society or community has the right to launch, preserve, and control its religious institutions. Nevertheless,   the Government publicly supported freedom of religion, but attacks on religious and tribal minorities continued to be a problem40. In contrast, there declared non-Muslims community which named Ahmadis and instances of harassment continued sporadically. On the other hand, the Government generally acted in an efficient manner to defend Ahmadis and their belongings. Consequently, there is a religion exerted a major influence on politics and the Government was sensitive to the Islamic consciousness of its political followers and the greater part of its citizens.

There was no change in the status of high opinion for religious freedom in the Government of Bangladesh. Moreover general public were generally free to perform the religion of their choice. On the contrary, Government officials, including the police, were often unproductive in maintenance law and order about religious problem. Although, they were slow to support religious minority victims of harassment and hostility. Consequently, the Government and many civil society leaders stated that violent behavior against religious minorities generally had political or economic motivations and could not be attributed only to religion41.

39. International Religious Freedom lauded Bangladesh for upholding constitutional right to profess and practice all religions and appointment of a significant number of members of minority communities in important political and administrative positions, reports UNB.
The report released in Washington on November 17 also praised the establishment of training academies for Imams, modernizing and mainstreaming the curriculum of religious education, promoting interfaith understanding and ensuring peaceful celebration of religious and secul.                                                                                                                                                                                          39.  It said absence of any report of religious prisoners and diminishing trend of violence against religious minorities are some of the hallmarks of the present democratic government in Bangladesh. The report, which is largely positive about the status of religious freedom in Bangladesh further acknowledges that during the year under review, several Supreme Court decisions such as ‘ruling the elements of the Fifth Amendment to the constitution unconstitutional’ bolstered the country’s status as a secular state. US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton released the report that contains performance of 198 countries during the period under review (01 July 2009 to 30 June 2010).                                                                                40. During the 2001 national election campaign period, the acute animosity between the two mainstream political parties led to numerous acts of significant violence against religious minorities. There were no significant reports of violence against minority members involving political party activists. However, in January 2007, President Iajuddin Ahmed announced a state of emergency to pre-empt widespread fears of a violent, one-sided election, and the next day, a new, nonpartisan caretaker government was sworn into office. Of the ten advisers or ministers in the new government, one is Christian. In the 300-seat Parliament that was dissolved in October 2006, religious minorities held eight seats.                                                                                                                                                                                                    41. There were reports of societal abuses and discrimination based on religious belief or practice during the period covered by this report. Hindu, Christian, and Buddhist minorities experienced discrimination and sometimes violence by the Muslim majority. Harassment of Ahmadis continued along with protests demanding that Ahmadis be declared non-Muslims.

Freedom of Religion in America

There is more than twenty percent of American adults have left the faith in which they were raised in support of another religion or no religion at all42. On the other hand, there is forty four percent of adults have either changed religious attachment, moved from being unaffiliated with any religion to being allied with a particular religious, or dropped any relationship to a particular religious practice43. The values of religious freedom are universal, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United States takes sincerely its worldwide commitments44 and, in the President’s words, “Our nation’s enduring commitment to the universal human right of religious freedom extends beyond our borders as we advocate for all who are denied the ability to choose and live their faith.”45 We are convinced by reason and our own experience that an open environment for expression of all beliefs advances the common good in all nations, regardless of geography or demography. Consequently, different higher level political leaders also support freedom of religion.46

42. The human rights organization finds that constant movement characterizes the American religious marketplace, as every major religious group is simultaneously gaining and losing adherents. Those that are growing as a result of religious change are simply gaining new members at faster rate than they are losing members. Conversely, those that are declining in number because of religious change simply are not attracting enough new members to offset the number of adherents who are leaving those particular faiths.                                                                              43. Another example of the dynamism of the American religious scene is the experience of the Catholic Church. Other surveys – such as the General Social 0Surveys, conducted by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago since 1972 – find that the Catholic share of the U.S. adult population has held fairly steady in recent decades at around 25%. What this apparent stability obscures, however, is the large number of people who have left the Catholic Church. Approximately one-third of the survey respondents who say they were raised Catholic no longer describe themselves as Catholic. This means that roughly 10% of all Americans are former Catholics                                                           44.  In observing International Freedom of Religion Day, the United States reaffirms its support for religious tolerance, and freedom of religion for all people.  The State Department will soon release its annual report on International Religious Freedom, which details the status of religious freedom in nearly 200 countries and territories. We believe that by shining a light on abuses and calling attention to progress, we can help those who are fighting for greater religious freedom                                                                                                                                                                    45. “Let us pledge our constant support to all who struggle against religious oppression and rededicate ourselves to fostering peace with those whose beliefs differ from our own. My Administration will continue to oppose growing trends in many parts of the world to restrict religious expression. Faith can bring us closer to one another, and our freedom to practice our faith and follow our conscience is central to our ability to live in harmony.”  — President Barack Obama .                                                                                                                                                              46. The United States believes that religious freedom is both a fundamental human right and an essential element to any stable, peaceful, thriving society.  “Because we believe in religious freedom,” said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “we are committed to the right of all people everywhere to live according to their beliefs without government interference.”


There has found a lot of constructive forms freedom of religion in different constitutions, supranational legal factors and covenants of public worldwide law. Furthermore, these norms fluctuate and these differences matter of course. In contrast, there are some universal problems underlying these encouraging legal norms establishing freedom of religion. Consequently, it is positively significant to guide the understanding of any given assurance of religious freedom as part of the national, supranational or international law given its conceptual and open-textured nature47 .For instance, these statements mean a bureaucratic vote for a point of view that could be called hermeneutical universalism. In other order, these universal perspectives should not be forgotten while appealing in work of constructing a realistic answer to interpretative problems of a given formal norm48. However, the appreciative of the intellect of norm will not be achieved without the methodical expression of ethical values49.Meanwhile the perception will be changed then to look scientifically at the problems at stake. Consequently, there is some discussion whether religious acceptance is a useful term if one discusses the issue of high opinion for other faiths. As a result, it is sometimes argued that the term carries depressing connotations and that one has to move away from it to reserve acceptance by recognition50. Therefore, some members of such minority religions were quite unconvinced about the idea of the alliance of all religious beliefs51

47.  For some general remarks on the theoretical framework of the legal conceptualization of human rights, see MATTHIAS MAHLMANN, ELEMENTE EINER ETHISCHEN GRUNDRECHTSTHEORIE (2008).

48. This view is therefore not convinced that the study of solutions to some quite universal problems in other normative contexts and legal systems means to “‘impose foreign moods, fads, or fashions.’” Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558, 598 (2003) (Scalia, J., dissenting) (quoting Foster v. Florida, 537 U.S. 990, 990 n.* (2002) (Thomas, J., concurring), denying cert. to 810 So. 2d 910 (Fla.)).

49.  See MAHLMANN, supra note 1, at 13.

50.  A standard reference in this respect is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Maximen und Reflexionen, in 12 WERKE, HAMBURGER AUSGABE No. 151 (Beck 1982) (“Toleranz sollte eigentlich nur eine vorübergehende Gesinnung sein: sie muß zur Anerkennung führen. Dulden heißt beleidigen.” [Tolerance should be nothing but a transient set of mind. It has to lead to recognition. Forbearing means insulting.]).

51. See, e.g., Moses Mendelssohn, Jerusalem oder über religiöse Macht und Judentum (1783), in SCHRIFTEN ÜBER RELIGION UND AUFKLÄRUNG (Martina Thom ed., 1989).


Augustine formulated a very essential disagreement for religious tolerance the impossibility to influence belief by force: “One can enter a church unwillingly, one can approach the altar unwillingly, one can accept the sacrament unwillingly, but one cannot believe but willingly.”52 Immediately, He included some judgment on social outsiders, like prostitutes, who should be tolerated on that reasons.53 In addition; Augustine rethought his position. However, Christianity had become the state religion of the Roman Empire. Moreover, it faced the challenge of schisms. In the dispute with the Demotists and Pelagius, Augustine warranted the forced control of these beliefs.54 He argued that it was not important of force for moral estimate, but rather the aim this force was used for was, 55 basing this on the parable of the great supper that framed the discussion in Europe for centuries to come.56 In summary, Political orders create a “Babylonian peace” bringing the believers to follow the commands of God.57

52.  Augustine’s, In Joanna’s Evangelisms Tractates CXXIV, in 35 JACQUES-PAUL MIGNE, PATROLOGIAE CURSUS COMPLETUS, SERIES LATINA, 1379, 1607 (Minge 1845) (“Infrared quisquam ecclesiam protest nobles, accede ad altar protest nobles, accepter Sacrament protest nobles: credited non protest nisi voles.”).

53.  See Augustine’s, De Ordinal, in 32 JACQUES-PAUL MIGNE, PATROLOGIAE CURSUS COMPLETUS, SERIES LATINA 977, 1000 (Garnier, Migne 1877) (“Auger meretrice  de rebus human is, turbaveris Omani libidinous . . . .”).

54.  See, e.g., Augustine’s, Epistolary ad Vincentian, in 33 JACQUES-PAUL MIGNE, PATROLOGIAE CURSUS COMPLETUS, SERIES LATINA 329 (Migne 1865).

55.  Augustine’s, De Correctione Donatistarum Liber, in 33 JACQUES-PAUL MIGNE, PATROLOGIAE CURSUS COMPLETUS, SERIES LATINA 329, 804 (Migne 1865) (“Quapropter, si potestate quam per religionem ac fidem regum, tempore quo debuit, divino munere accepit

Ecclesia, hi qui inveniuntur in viis et in sepibus, id est in haeresibus et schismatibus, coguntur intrare; non quia coguntur reprehendant, sed quo cogantur, attendant.”).

56. See Luke 14:15-24. At the heart of this passage is the “compelled intrare,” the “compel them to come” of those that did not join the supper though they were invited. Augustine interpreted this as legitimating the use of force in religious matters.

57. See Augustine’s, De Civitate Dei, in 40 CORPUS SCRIPTORUM ECCLESIASTICORUM LATINORUM, SANCTI AURELI AUGUSTINI OPERA Pars I, Pars II, XIX, 13, 17, 26 (Tempsky 1899 & 1900) (“quoniam, quamdiu permixta sunt ambae civitates, utimur et nos pace Babylonis”)..


The association of government in the Commonwealth of Australia has been described as the “Wash minster Mutation.”59 In addition, Australia was created as a confederation of six British colonies in 1901. Similarly, it was renowned as states from that point, perpetuating Wash minster systems of responsible government.60In contrast, Australia’s Founding Fathers were also charmed with the United States’ political institutions. Consequently, the Federation brought a U.S. federal construction to the country. Furthermore, it was including a written and inflexible Constitution, a federal or “Commonwealth” Parliament with an U.S. inspired Senate, and judicial review of legislation.61 In summary, these Westminster mutations are obvious in the constitutional position of religious freedom which embodies a mixture of U.S. style religion clauses, older British traditions of parliamentary self-restraint, and statutory bills of rights, which are more commonly used in the British Commonwealth today.62

58.  U.N. Econ. & Soc. Council, Comm’n on Human Rights, Report Submitted by Mr. Abdelfattah Amor, Special Rapporteur, in Accordance with Commission on Human Rights Resolution 1996/23: Addendum: Visit to Australia, ¶ 107, U.N. DOC. E/CN.4/1998/6/Add.1 (Sept. 4, 1997) (prepared by Abdelfattah Amor) [hereinafter U.N. Report]. The report described Australia’s experience in the area of religious diversity as an “unfinished experiment.” Id. * Reader in Law, Centre for Public, International & Comparative Law, T.C. Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland. Thanks are given to Chris Fadzel for research assistance in the preparation of this article. Any views expressed in this article are, of course, the author’s own.

59.  Elaine Thompson, The “Washminster” Mutation, in RESPONSIBLE GOVERNMENT IN AUSTRALIA 32, 32 (Patrick Moray Weller & Dean Jaensch eds., 1980).

60.  The six states of Australia are New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia. There are also Federal Territories, most of which are uninhabited or sparsely populated. The three most populous Territories have delegated powers of self-government, and are the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory, and Norfolk Island.


62. See AUSTL. CONST. §§ 116–18 (including religion in Section 116, privileges and immunities in Section 117, and full faith and credit in Section 118).

Structural Limitations

The most important reason for the constricted function of Section 116 is that it places no restrictions on the States. In addition, there is no mention about the point that they are delegated powers to pass their own legislation, the Federal Territories. Similarly, the terms of Section 116 only place a embargo on “the Commonwealth” 63 which as the High Court has read it. Moreover it means the Federal Parliament64. In contrast, The Federal Parliament has no power to legislate with respect to religion. Consequently, power is left to the States.64 Furthermore, the Federal Parliament is powerless to make conform the activities of religious corporations.65 Thus the Australian Constitution has no prerequisite equal to the U.S. Constitution’s Fourteenth modification. There are restrictions placed on the federal government are included as equivalent limitations appropriate to the States.66 However, the more principled position is that Section 116 applies to federal legislation for the government of the Territories.67

63.  KEITH MASON, CONSTANCY AND CHANGE: MORAL AND RELIGIOUS VALUES IN THE AUSTRALIAN LEGAL SYSTEM 118 (1990); see also Michael Hogan, Separation of Church and State: Section 116 of the Constitution, 53 AUSTL. Q. 214, 226 (1981); N.K.F. O’Neill, Constitutional Human Rights in Australia, 17 FED. L. REV. 85, 118 (1987).

64.  AUSTL. CONST. § 51(xx); see also The Queen v. Fed. Court of Austl. (1979) 143 C.L.R. 190, 234 (Austl.); Handcart Parker & Co. Pty. Ltd. v.  Moorhead  (1908) 8 C.L.R. 330, 393 (Austl.). A recent expansive reading of the corporations power might require this view to be revised. See New South Wales v.

Commonwealth [2006] H.C.A. 52, Paras. 183–98  (Austl.).

65.  See U.S. CONST. amend. XIV. Section 116 has, however, been used occasionally to shape common law principles that are dealt with in the exercise of State jurisdiction. See Nelan v. Downs (1917) 23 C.L.R. 546, 562 (Austl.); Canterbury Mun.  Council v. Moslem Always Sac’s  (1985) 1 N.S.W.L.R. 525, 544 (N.S.W.).

66. See State Aid, 146 C.L.R. at 594; Porter v. The King (1926) 37 C.L.R. 432, 448–49 (Austl.);  Harry Gibbs, Section 116 of the Constitution and the Territories of the Commonwealth, 20 AUSTL. L.J.  375, 375  (1947).  Cf. F. D.

67.  See State Aid,146 C.L.R. at 621, 649; Tau v. Commonwealth (1969) 119 C.L.R. 564, 567, 570 (Austl.); Lamshed v. Lake (1958) 99 C.L.R. 132, 143, 152, 154 (Austl.).

State-Sponsored Challenges to Religious Freedom

Religious freedom can be controlled in a variety of ways from the obvious to the restrained. The five categories below give an investigative framework for recognizing the variety of limitations on religious freedom.

v     Authoritarian governments: The cruelest abuses take place under authoritarian governments. In addition, such governments seek out to control all religious thought and expression. There main target to control all aspects of political and civic life. Similarly, these governments hold some religious groups as enemies of the state because they hold religious beliefs that may confront trustworthiness to the rulers. In contrast, some governments cite concerns about political security as a basis to contain peaceful religious practice.

v     Hostility toward nontraditional and minority religious groups: There is state hostility toward nontraditional and minority religious groups then abuses take place. In addition, Governments may demand that adherents renounce their faith or force them to relocate the country.

v      Failure to address societal intolerance: There are some states fail to address forces of intolerance against certain religious groups. Furthermore, these countries laws may discourage religious discrimination however officials fail to prevent attacks, persecution, or other damaging acts against certain individuals or religious groups. In contrast, protecting religious freedom requires more than having good laws and policies in place.

v     Institutionalized bias: Governments sometimes control religious freedom by enacting discriminatory legislation. Similarly, they are taking concrete actions that favor one or more religions over others. Moreover, these situations often result from historical governance by a particular religious group. Finally, it can result in institutionalized bias against new or historically reserved religious communities.

v     Illegitimacy: There are some Governments that they discriminate against specific groups asserting. In addition, they are illegitimate and dangerous to individuals or societal orders. This practice is relatively common even in countries where religious freedom is otherwise respected.


In conclusion we can say that each and every person has freedom of religion right. Furthermore, the religious beliefs of its member have to bring social and economic development. Moreover, such beliefs impact key factors in the development process. For example, individual motivation, community consistency, and women’s participation and the right to freedom of religion or belief are accordingly central to the development process. You cannot be forced to follow or practice a particular religion and cannot be prevented from changing your religion. You are also protected from indoctrination by the State. It recommended that, in the nature of things, “religion and belief” should be broadly defined, to encompass theistic, non-theistic and other beliefs, including traditional belief systems of original people. On the contrary, Human beings are forced to find their way under often difficult, sometimes even tragic, historical circumstance. Religious tolerance and freedom of religion are central normative expressions of the necessary patience of humankind, with its own existential predicament. It is not useless to try to stay aware of the foundations of religious tolerance; to make them, where possible, a relevant part of effective legal orders.they can to protect this central perspective of a civilized humanism.


Ø      Government should ensure that minority communities are not discriminated when organize and practice their religion;

Ø      Government should impose, in agreement with the national context, appropriate sanctions in cases of discrimination on grounds of religion;

Ø      Government should take the compulsory measures to guarantee that the freedom of religious practice is fully assured.

Ø       Government should ensure that public institutions are made responsive of the need to make provision in their everyday practice for legitimate cultural and other requirements arising from the multi-faith nature of society.

Ø      Government should establish whether discrimination on religious grounds is practiced in connection with access to citizenship.

Ø      Government should take the necessary actions to remove any manifestation of discrimination on grounds of religious belief in access to education.

Ø      Government should take measures, including legislation if necessary, to combat religious intolerance in entrance to employment and at the workplace.

Ø      Government should encourage employers to devise and implement “codes of conduct” in order to combat religious discrimination in access to employment and at the workplace.

Ø      Government should assess whether members of minority communities suffer from discrimination connected with social exclusion

Ø      Government should pay particular attention to the situation of minority women, who may suffer both from discrimination against women in general and from discrimination against minorities.

Ø      Government should ensure that curricula in schools and higher education especially in the field of history teaching. They do not present distorted interpretations of religious and cultural history

Ø      Government should ensure that religious instruction in schools respects cultural pluralism and make provision for teacher training to this effect.

Ø      Government should support voluntary dialogue at the local and national level which will raise awareness among the population of those areas where particular care is needed to avoid social and cultural conflict.

Ø       Government should encourage debate within the media and advertising professions on the image which they convey of minority communities and on their responsibility in this respect to avoid perpetuating prejudice and biased information.

Ø      Government should provide for the monitoring and evaluation of the effectiveness of all measures taken for the purpose of combating intolerance and discrimination against minority groups.


1. The jurisdiction and complaint-handling process of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission

2. How the right to religious freedom and belief is addressed in the HREOCA

3. How the right to non-discrimination in employment on the ground of religion is addressed in the HREOCA (including the inherent requirement and religious susceptibilities exceptions)

4. Carter, Stephen. The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion. Basic Books, 1993.

5. Arlin M. Adams and Charles J. Emmerich, A Nation Dedicated to Religious Liberty: The Constitutional Heritage of the Religion Clauses, with a Foreword by Warren E. Burger (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990). LC # BR 516 .A32 1990

6. Jesse H. Chopper, Securing Religious Liberty: Principles for Judicial Interpretation of the Religion Clauses (Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press, 1995). LC # KF 4783 .C47 1995

7. Terry Eastland, ed., Religious Liberty in the Supreme Court: The Cases That Define the Debate Over Church and State (Washington, D.C.: Ethics and Public Policy Center; Grand Rapids, MI and Cambridge, UK: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1993). LC # KF 4783 .A7 R45 1995

8. Ronald B. Flowers, That Godless Court? Supreme Court Decisions on Church-State Relationships (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1994). LC # KF 4865 .F57 1994

9. John Frohnmayer, Out of Tune: Listerning to the First Amendment ([Nashville]: The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center at Vanderbilt University, 1994). LC # KF 4770 .F78 1994

10. Gregg Ivers, Redefining the First Freedom: The Supreme Court and the Consolidation of State Power (New Brunswick, NJ and London: Transaction Publishers, 1993). LC # KF 4783 .I94 1992

11. Francis Graham Lee, All Imaginable Liberty: The Religious Liberty Caluses of the First Amendment (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, Inc., 1995). LC # KF 4783 .A94 1995

12. Barry Lynn, Marc D. Stern, and Oliver S. Thomas, The Right to Religious Liberty: The Basic ACLU Guide to Religious Rights, 2nd edn., revised and updated (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1995). LC # KF 4783 .L96 1995

13. Winnifred Fallers Sullivan, Paying the Words Extra: Religious Discourse in the Supreme Court of the United States (Cambridge, MA: Distributed by the Harvard University Press for the Harvard Center for the Stuy of World Religions, 1994). LC # KF 4783 .S85 1994

14.James E. Wood, Jr. and Derek Davis, eds., The Role of Government in Monitoring and Regulating Religion in Public Life (Waco, TX: Baylor University, 1993). LC # KF 4783 .R64 1993.

15. Adams, Arlin M. and Charles J. Emmerich, A Nation Dedicated to Religious Liberty: The Constitutional Heritage of the Religion Clauses. Foreword by Warren E. Burger, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1990.

16. Alley, Robert S. James Madison On Religious Liberty. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1985.

17. Alley, Robert. Without a Prayer; Religious Expression in Public Schools. Buffalo: Prometheus Books, 1996.

18. Andryszewski, Tricia. School Prayer; A History of the Debate. Enslow Publishers, 1997.

19. Anti-Defamation League. Religion in the Public Schools: Guidelines for a Growing and Changing Phenomenon, 1992.

20. Bates, Stephen. Battleground: One Mother’s Crusade, the Religious Right, and the Struggle for Control of Our Classrooms. Poseidon Press, 1993.

21. Choper, Jesse H. Securing Religious Liberty: Principles for Judicial Interpretation of the Religion Clauses. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1995.

22. Eastland, Terry, ed., Religious Liberty in the Supreme Court: The Cases That Define the Debate Over Church and State. Washington, D.C.: Ethics and Public Policy Center; Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1993.

23. Eastland, Terry. Religious Liberty in the Supreme Court. Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1993.

24. Evans, Bette Novit. Interpreting the Free Exercise of Religion: The Constitution and American Pluralism. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 1997.

25. Fenwick, Lynda B. Should the Children Pray?: A Historical, Judicial, & Political