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V The Role And Responsibilities Of Individuals And Religious Communities

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Chapter Summary

The Court has frequently said that the freedom of religion and belief is primarily a matter of individual conscience. The absolute nature of the 'forum internum', the sphere of personal belief, means that the overarching principles which guide the state are not directly applicable to the individual and to the religious community in the same fashion. What the Convention expects is that individuals and belief communities should conduct themselves in a fashion which respects the structures and systems of pluralist democracy, respects the Convention itself, is properly respectful of the rights and freedoms of others and, which honours the particular obligation to show proper respect for the objects of religious veneration of others.

Keywords: forum internum; individuals; religious communities; responsibilities



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