In Religious Freedom Debate, Nonbelievers Must Not Be Ignored

April 23, 2013

From Freedom House:

Despite the often difficult conditions encountered by nonbelievers around the world, many in government and the human rights community regard their plight as a minor issue. Moreover, religious activists seeking freedom of worship rarely view nonbelievers as natural allies. These are both fundamental mistakes. Believers and nonbelievers have a common enemy in state-controlled religion, and a common interest in church-state separation. In terms of human rights and political development, the promotion of comprehensive freedom of conscience can help societies move away from identity-based politics, foster a broader notion of citizenship, and encourage practices—such as civil debate and tolerance for plurality of opinion—that undergird any healthy democracy.

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