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8 A More Constructive Encounter: a Bah' View of Religion and Human Rights

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Chapter Summary

The tension between human rights values and religious values has been reinforced by the emergence in the late twentieth century and early twenty-first century of an increasingly aggressive form of religious extremism which is clearly contemptuous of human rights. This chapter explores the relationship between religion and human rights from a Bahá’í perspective and examines the work of the Bahá’í community in wholeheartedly supporting the theory and practice of universal human rights. It gives an example of a religion that has emerged in modern times, which clearly and directly addresses modern concerns and which is wholeheartedly committed to universal human rights. The chapter adduces evidence from the Bahá’í sacred writings and other sources to demonstrate its commitment to human rights, and examines work done by the Bahá’í International Community (BIC) in support of the human rights of the Bahá’ís in Iran and of human rights more generally.

Keywords: Bahá’í community; human rights; religion



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