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Freedom of Religion or Belief - An International Law Commentary by Bielefeldt, Heiner; Ghanea, Nazila; Wiener, Michael (21st January 2016)

Part 1 Freedom of Religion or Belief, 1.3.10 Establish and Maintain Charitable or Humanitarian Institutions/Solicit and Receive Funding

From: Freedom of Religion or Belief: An International Law Commentary

Heiner Bielefeldt, Nazila Ghanea, Michael Wiener

Subject(s):
Religion — Freedom of association — Freedom of expression — Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion — Minorities — Human rights remedies — Humanitarian intervention

This chapter discusses issues concerning the right of religious communities to establish and receive funding for a humanitarian institution. For many believers, humanitarian support belongs to the very core of their convictions. This humanitarian commitment within a religion or belief includes the possibility to establish and maintain charitable and humanitarian organizations. Thus, hindering religious communities from running charitable institutions, or creating unnecessary obstacles in this regard, may seriously violate freedom of religion or belief. In addition, depriving funds needed for establishing and maintaining charitable work may also be considered as an issue under freedom of religion or belief. In this context, however, the various Special Procedures mandate-holders have not given a carte blanche to all sorts of financial and other contributions, notably by stressing that the right to receive funding could be limited in order to prevent its misuse for militant means and violence.

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