Freedom Of Religion In The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights

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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights which was adopted by United Nations General Assembly on December 10th 1945 defines freedom of religion and belief in its article 18 as follows: "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. Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or the protection of the …show more content…
‟. Organisations like the British Humanist Association (BHA) say this produced an inaccurate and misleading image of the religiosity of the UK. The Census for 2001 and 2011 especially point to the fact that surveys with different wording got significantly lower numbers for significantly lower figures for religious affiliation (British Humanist 2011c). The British Social Attitudes (BSA) survey question, ’’Do you regard yourself as belonging to any particular religion? ‟ is also pointed to as good neutral way of gathering information. BSA surveys in 1983 got 31% of the population identifying as Christian. This may be a trend or due to the fact that the wording in the official census leaves little room to give answer which paints a truer picture (Lee 2011). Another survey covering England and Wales only by the Annual Population Survey (APS) got roughly the same numbers as the BSA survey for religiosity after wording the question on religion: “What is your religion even if you are not currently practising” (Ferguson et al 2007-08). Three trends showed in the APS survey: a decline in the period from 2004-05 to 2008-09 for the Christian population from 78 to 72%, an increase from 3 to 4 % in the Muslim population and a rise in the ‘no religion’ population from 16 to 20% (Perfect 2011). Immigration may have also played a small role in changing Britain’s religious landscape. Charismatic Black churches catering to the growing Black population as well as a rise in the Muslim population. The rise in those professing no religion has also contributed to a slight fall in historic church member numbers (Woodhead and Catto 2009). Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists have a higher number of people who belong to the religion who are practising as opposed to Christians (Beckford et al

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