New report on principles of religious freedom

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A new report from the UK-based Christian think tank Theos has aimed to articulate principles for understanding and discussing religious freedom in a secular society.


How To Think About Religious Freedom, authored by Nick Spencer, argues “not that religious freedom must be honoured above all other principles but that, in the fluid balance of principles in which no one principle serves as an immutable centre of gravity for all the others, a proper recognition of the intrinsic nature of religious liberty must be allowed to take its full and proper place in discussions.”
Spencer proposes seven principles which serve as “a set of guidelines” by means of which Christians particularly, and society more generally, might think more clearly about religious freedom.
They are: ‘Spirituality’ is key to human identity, and requires recognition and respect; Religious belief cannot be neatly detached from religious practice; Religious freedom means freedom to adhere to, exercise and choose between all religions and none; Associational rights, beyond those of religious communities, are legitimate; The family has its own rights but is not sacred or inviolable; Human dignity, as expressed in rights, is an authentic Christian principle; Equality does not mean sameness or necessitate identical treatment.

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