Wyższa Szkoła Gospodarki
im. Alcide De Gasperi
Freedom of Religion as a European Value
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The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
The article discusses freedom of religion perceived as a European value. The cooperation between the European states that is becoming broader and broader causes the sharp divisions between them disappear. Meanwhile, the internal legal acts formulate objectives that create a relationship between the internal domestic intentions and the community goals, also in the area of common values and beliefs. The European law recognizes freedom of religion (Article 9 of CEDH; Article 2 of TEU; Article 10 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union) and offers a mechanism guaranteeing freedom of conscience and religious pluralism. The internal autonomy of an individual demands a guarantee of freedom of “thought, conscience and religion or belief”, and thus the international documents ascribe an absolute profile to that freedom. A separate legal nature shall be ascribed to “externalization” of beliefs or religion. The axiological foundation for freedom of creating the religious communities stems from the ideas of pluralism, democracy and peaceful dialogue. The listed values shall be perceived on the background of general axiology of the European community of law taking into account the primary feature of a democratic society: pluralism.
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