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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Religion or Belief, Freedom of, International Protection

Christian Walter

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 25 September 2021

Subject(s):
Religion — Freedom of thought, conscience, and religion — Minorities — Race

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 Freedom of religion belongs to the most fundamental human rights. In fact, it is viewed as the oldest internationally accepted human right. Crucial for its development were both the religious civil wars of the 16th and 17th centuries and the philosophy of Enlightenment. The Religious Peace of Augsburg of 25 September 1555 established the principle of cuius regio, eius religio (‘each prince determines the religion of his subjects’) which implied the recognition of Protestant rulers as equal to their Catholic counterparts within the Empire (see also History of...
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