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Proselytism and Change of Religion

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses proselytism and its limits, and the right to change one's religion within the framework of modern international human rights law as developed in the United Nations era. Proselytism and the right to change one's religion are not absolute rights. However, they do need to be protected and, to that effect, legal formulation seems to be rather pressing. The chapter presents several conclusions such as the right to proselytize and try to convince people to adopt a specific religion, on the one hand, and the right of a person to abandon and/or change his or her religion, on the other, are closely connected. It is the right to manifest religious views, expressed through proselytizing activities or through formal steps to change one's religious framework, that may require regulation and protection. One of the limits of the right to proselytism is the protection of communal or collective identities.

Keywords: change of religion; proselytism; United Nations era; Universal Declaration of Human Rights



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