In accordance with Article 1 of the present Declaration and subject to the provisions of Article 1, Paragraph 3, the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief shall include, inter alia, the following freedoms:


Paragraph 6.1 is divided into nine sub-paragraphs identifying specific freedoms that expand on the right to manifest a religion or belief embodied in Article 18 of the ICCPR. The paragraph starts out with a prologue not of caution that these freedoms are subject to the provisions of Article 1, Paragraph 3, and are not legally binding. This note of caution, by U.N. member states who drafted the 1981 Declaration, is one reason it took twenty years to pass and another twenty years without a move by the U.N. to draft a legally-binding Convention on Freedom of Religion or Belief. It says, in essence, each freedom is a right that carries with it a responsibility not to infringe on the sovereignty of the state to maintain public safety, order, health, morals and the fundamental rights and freedoms of others. It sets the stage for an on-going legal debate on how best to protect a religion or belief from the state and the state from a religion or belief. Each country has different interpretations of these freedoms, based in part on their prevailing culture and history of religion or belief.


Understand the variety of issues and ways each of the following nine specific rights are manifested and how they apply to a community.

  • Worship, Assemble, Establish, Maintain
  • Charitable and Humanitarian Institutions
  • Acquire and Use Materials for Rites and Customs
  • Write and Disseminate Publications
  • Teach in Places Suitable for the Purpose
  • Solicit and Receive Contributions
  • Train, Elect and Appoint Leaders
  • Days of Rest, Holidays, Ceremonies
  • Establish and Maintain Communications