Nathan C. Walker, executive director of the Religious Freedom Center, collaborated with Lyal S. Sunga in publishing a policy report for the International Development Law Organization entitled, Promoting and Protecting the Universal Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief through Law: Current Dilemmas and Lessons Learned.
The project was commissioned and financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Government of the Italian Republic and presented at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland in March 2014.
Responders to the report included:
The rule of law has often been used to suppress freedom of religion and discriminate against religious minorities. However, history shows that the rule of law can be effectively used to promote mutual understanding of one another’s differences. These four principles explain how the rule of law can protect freedom of religion or belief as a fundamental human right, rather than be used to coerce or harm:
These principles, not to be construed as a definitive list, can help move beyond culture wars where religious rites are pitted against civil and human rights. They support the adoption of legal frameworks that transcend the mere tolerance of religious difference toward the active promotion of peaceful coexistence.