Protecting the Right to Freedom of Thought, Conscience, and Religion: 75 Years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
International Center for Law and Religion Studies
J. Reuben Clark Law School – Brigham Young University
Provo, Utah, USA
This year, the Annual International Law and Religion Symposium celebrates not only its own 30th anniversary, but also commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its protections of thought, conscience, and religion. The Universal Declaration serves as the cornerstone of contemporary international protections of human rights, including freedom of religion or belief. Its protections have been repeated numerous times in international and regional treaties and in national constitutions.
Despite its enormous impact, the Universal Declaration and the rights of thought, conscience, and religion it protects continue to face challenges. Some question the claim to universal rights, while populist movements seek to entrench protections only for majority religions. Others wonder if diverse religions can truly create a cohesive society or fight against robust understandings of freedom of religion or belief.
The Annual Law and Religion Symposium brings together a wide-ranging group of over 100 scholars, diplomats, judges, and government, civic and religious leaders from over 65 countries. Together we will look at questions such as: