Resources on Faith, Ethics and Public Life

Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief

November 25, 1981

United Nations General Assembly Resolution 36/55, titled “Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief,” stipulates that every individual has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and belief, and that no person should be subject to coercion that would impair his or her religious or personal beliefs. Some of the acts that are permitted under the resolution include the freedom to: worship and build places of worship; establish humanitarian institutions; write publications in these areas; teach religion or practice it; solicit funds to maintain religious institutions; and observe days of rest and holidays. The resolution also articulates that parents and legal guardians have the right to organize and raise their families according to their religion and beliefs as long as such a lifestyle is not injurious to the physical or mental health and development of a child.

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