The Right of Reigious Freedom

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Religious freedom is arguably the oldest and deepest of rights embedded in the modern collection of liberties. Religion has been historically one of the most powerful forces in shaping the morals of humanity. According to the 1993 Project on Religion and Human rights; Religion is defined as: Encompassing a world view or set of beliefs, along with a value system and a way of life embodying and expressing these beliefs. They are not merely a matter of belief or doctrine, but actually constitute an integral culture which can form personal and social identity and can influence experience and behavior significantly. Religious persecution existed as early as the biblical and Quranic era. The “rights idea” by contrast, is of comparatively recent origin, although it too has a history tracing back a number of centuries. In Uganda, the arrival of the Christian missionaries set the stage for new developments, and marked a turning point in the religious life of the people of Buganda; the political structure of the Kingdom and the region at large. Mwanga II was a youth whose ruling style fell short of the charisma and political astuteness his late father Mutesa I had demonstrated in dealing with foreigners and handling conflicting forces that struggled to influence his court. The Arabs (Moslems), Catholics (the French or Bafaransa as they were locally called) or Protestants (the English or Bangereza) operated with difficulty during Mwanga’s reign however; King Mwanga let his subjects join any creed of their choice. Notably, Mwanga died a traditionalist but, he is remembered for being an intolerant and vicious persecutor of Christians and foreigners. According to the old tradition, the King was the center of power and authority; he c... ... middle of paper ... ...eligion was designed to address, remain evident in varying forms and degrees around the world. A review of religious liberty in light of the fore going question in my humble view reveals that religious liberty is “special” and for that matter warranting protection by specific provisions under national and international law as opposed to general provisions protecting liberty and equality. One will have to support the fore going assertion in the wake of religious extremism where terrorists have specific religious inclinations for example the Al Qaeda in the Middle East, the Alshabab in Eastern Africa and the Boko Haram in West Africa whose activities are a profound threat to world peace. The International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 is a classical example of American foreign policy towards religious persecution as the vanguards of global religious freedom.

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