A Journal for The Contemporary Church

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Religious Freedom – Then and Now


Ireland, France, and the United States are but three of the countries around the globe in which religious freedom is at present at issue in public discussion and/or in the courts. Here, a High Court action was initiated in November which challenges restrictions on worship introduced owing to Covid-19, asserting an infringement of a constitutional right. In France there is recurrent controversy around the impact of the doctrine of laïcité on the religious freedom of adherents of the Islamic faith, the second biggest religious grouping in that country. In the United States there is a virtually continuous litigation, as religious groups and secularists for their respective reasons oppose policies and laws which involve the freedom of religion guaranteed by the Constitution. And there are countries where people are put to death because they practise a religious faith.

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