The roots of Religious Liberty

Nov 21, 2020 by

by Chris Sugden, Grassroots Conservatives:

What is a secure basis for religious liberty? According to President Macron in France, following the terrorist murders, such liberty is rooted in liberal notions of the rights of man as expressed following the “Enlightenment” in the French Revolution, liberty, equality and fraternity. He said:

“The history of our country involves the construction of the res publica as being removed from religion. ….….  We created our laws, which stemmed from the ideas of the Enlightenment; ….and in our laws, our principles, our rights, individual freedoms are enshrined; religious freedom….the freedom of thought and the freedom of expression.”

Liberalism and Religious Liberty

Dr Timothy Shah, senior advisor and director of the Religious Freedom Institute’s South and Southeast Asia Action Team and research professor of government at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion, challenged the notion that religious liberty required the evangelism of western liberalism in a public lecture for the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life on November 17. He argued that arguments for Religious Liberty predated the enlightenment by millennia and could be found in many cultures. He argued “If religious liberty enjoys a pre-liberal existence, then liberalism cannot be its necessary precondition. And if liberalism is not religious liberty’s necessary precondition, then advocates of religious liberty do not have to be — and perhaps should not be — evangelists of liberalism.”

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See also: Religious restrictions around the world, From Pew Research Center

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