Freedom of conscience underpins many of the other human rights that we all enjoy. This is why the right to express your belief is enshrined in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. However, this freedom is being marginalised.
The Global Charter of Conscience will bring religious tolerance back to the centre of public debate, and it will help future generations engage freely in the public life of their nation.
The Charter has been drafted by people of many faiths and none, politicians of many persuasions, academics and NGOs, all committed to a partnership on behalf of “freedom of thought, conscience and religion” for people of all faiths and none.
The Charter calls for the cultivation of civility and the construction of a civil public square that maximises freedom for everyone. It provides a vision and framework to help us discuss and resolve our present problems in a constructive, rights-honouring manner.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 (General Assembly resolution 217 A) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.
May 3, 2016
In a world ravaged by conflict, there is a real threat to human dignity. While some face persecution and sectarian violence, others question whether religion has any place in public life. Dr. Os Guinness and Dr. Abdu Murray insightfully address the question “How do we live with our deepest differences?”
Os Guinness proposes that the way forward in the making of a world that is safe for diversity is through the Civil Public Square, where freedom of religion and belief are promoted for people of all faiths and of none. Every nation must have a core of protected, guaranteed rights and at their heart, religious freedom based on freedom of conscience and thought. He adds that freedom of conscience does not equal freedom of choice. There will never be peace and harmony in our diversity unless this foundational right is protected.