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Part 1 Freedom of Religion or Belief, 1.3.2 Places of Worship

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

Heiner Bielefeldt, Nazila Ghanea, Michael Wiener

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 16 July 2024

Religion — Freedom of association — Freedom of expression — Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion — Human rights remedies

This chapter discusses various human rights violations that arise in the context of constructing, owning, accessing, using, protecting, and preserving places of worship or other religious sites. When members of religious communities wish to construct and own places of worship they often face restrictions that are imposed by the State or competing claims by other religious communities. In this context, the conversion of places of worship as well as their confiscation and unfair restitution provisions may lead to further problems for religious communities. Furthermore, access to religious sites and their use is often unduly restricted by the State, impeded in practice by non-State actors, or hampered by religious precepts which discriminate against some people within the same religious or belief community. The chapter also discusses issues of interpretation, including the relationship between international human rights law and international humanitarian law in the context of religious sites, the obligations of various duty-bearers, and sacred sites of indigenous peoples.

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