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Freedom of religion and freedom of belief in an open society

Alliance 90/The Greens’ policy is human rights policy. For the Alliance 90/The Greens religion policy that is why there is a decisive orientation to the human right of freedom of thought, freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. It must be ensured in all its three dimensions. Fundamental is individual freedom of religion first of all. That is freedom of belief, i.e. the right to have, look after and practise a religion or belief and to orient one’s whole life to one’s own belief. It is equally a negative freedom of religion, i.e. the right not to have, take care of and practise any belief and not to be restricted in one’s own area of freedom by the popular beliefs of others, even if they are in the majority. This negative dimension of freedom of religion has in particular been, up until now, frequently neglected or even ignored in religion policy. Finally, the collective dimension of freedom of religion and freedom of belief includes that the religion or belief must be allowed to be practised in a community, that religion and belief also take place in the public sphere and religion and belief communities must be able to appear as actors in the public sphere. The German constitution also gives such communities corporative rights, they are also legal entities in that they practically enable their members to practise their belief.

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