Religion and human rights

Photo:Shutterstock/Donatas Dabravolskas (All rights reserved)

Photo: DR Travel Photo and Videos/Shutterstock (All Rights Reserved)

What are the potential points of collaboration?

In many circles, the words “religion” and “human rights” are seen as opposing concepts. For many activists working on women’s rights, LGBT concerns, and more, organized faith communities and their leaders are invariably a big part of the the problem, and only rarely, if ever, part of the solution.This view, however, vastly underestimates existing and potential points of collaboration. In this openGlobalRights theme, we explore the possibilities across regions, faith traditions, and issues.





Malaysia’s punishment of lesbian couple highlights OIC rejection of LGBTQ rights

October 3, 2018
BY: Robert C. Blitt

Malaysia’s recent caning of a homosexual couple reflects a larger problem ...

UN’s approach inside Myanmar abandons human rights principles

July 12, 2018
BY: Liam Mahony

Although UN human rights bodies have criticized the persecution of the ...

Using foreign aid for state repression in Thailand

March 6, 2018
BY: Salvador Santino F. Regilme, Jr.

During transnational security crises, aid recipient governments use foreign ...

Religious rights advocacy won’t save the Rohingya—but what will?

December 7, 2017
BY: Elizabeth Shakman Hurd

To insist on the Rohingya status as a victimized religious minority while ...

Human rights and the state: embracing and abandoning religion(s)

June 22, 2016
BY: Peter Jacob

The debate about whether a state should be religious or secular doesn’t ...

Islamic ideals of peace and justice: are we overlooking something?

June 14, 2016
BY: Hakan Altinay

Associating progressive social policies with Islam may unsettle some, ...

Mexicans expect far more from the Pope than we will ever get

April 13, 2016
BY: Ariadna Estévez

The Pope’s first official visit to Mexico was all talk and no action, ...

Partners in prayer: women's rights and religion in Morocco

July 7, 2015
BY: Meriem El Haitami & Shannon Golden & James Ron
Français | العربية

Pundits say that religion and human rights are opposing forces in Morocco, ...

Religion and rights in Bangladesh: maintaining a delicate balance

June 11, 2015
BY: Mubin S. Khan

Bangladeshi activists work around religious elements, sometimes even collaborating ...

Religion inspires in ways that international law does not

March 5, 2015
BY: Abadir M. Ibrahim

Using extreme examples to justify a purely secular human rights approach ...

Home, for Algeria’s Jews, is elsewhere

February 27, 2015
BY: Farah Souames

Intolerance towards Algerian Jews has been driven by geopolitics and history, ...

In Egypt, human rights need religion

February 23, 2015
BY: Jack Snyder

Religious progressives are vital for Egypt’s human rights; secular groups ...

Secularism can sometimes undermine women’s rights

February 20, 2015
BY: Emma Tomalin

Rights activists tend to identify secularism with women’s rights, but ...

UN strategy to combat religious intolerance - is it fit for purpose?

January 28, 2015
BY: Marc Limon & Nazila Ghanea & Hilary Power
Español | العربية

As religious intolerance and discrimination increase, is the UN’s current ...

Women’s rights in Tunisia: promising future or religio-political game?

January 16, 2015
BY: Elsy Melkonian
Français | العربية

Women in Tunisia have long enjoyed rights that are very clear on paper. ...

Religious conversions in India – keeping human rights at the core

January 14, 2015
BY: Siddharth Peter De Souza

Religion is not only about belief but also about its capacity for human ...

Tradition should defer to human rights, not the other way around

January 6, 2015
BY: Leo Igwe

‘Traditional African ways’ is not a monolith. It has evolved over time ...

What does the “right to life” really mean for Catholics in Mexico?

December 22, 2014
BY: Renee De La Torre

It’s time for leaders in the Mexican Catholic Church to speak up where ...

Religion and human rights - partnership with a dose of pragmatism

December 18, 2014
BY: Adem Kassie Abebe

Religion and human rights need not be completely divorced, or work hand-in-hand ...

Religion as a political game: rising intolerance in Indonesia

December 1, 2014
BY: Ahmad Sueady

Indonesia’s rising religious intolerance stems from a political pact struck ...

To end manual scavenging in India, Hindu religious leaders must speak up

November 27, 2014
BY: Seema Guha

In India, Hindu religious leaders are reluctant to campaign loudly against ...

Indonesia’s growing religious intolerance

November 26, 2014
BY: Phelim Kine

Although Indonesia has long been seen as a religiously moderate country, ...

Filling the gap: why prayer camps in Ghana are sometimes the only option

November 17, 2014
BY: Abamfo Ofori Atiemo

Human Rights Watch’s scathing critique of Ghana’s prayer camps misses ...

Does “religious freedom” include the right to convert or scam others?

October 12, 2014
BY: José Zalaquett

Does freedom of religion include the right to convert others, or pressure ...

The (in)human dimension of Ghana’s prayer camps

October 10, 2014
BY: Shantha Rau Barriga

Ambamfo Ofori Atiemo says that prayer camps in Ghana deserve a closer ...

Should it matter how the mass is mobilized?

October 8, 2014
BY: Kechi Nomu

On the streets of Nigeria, what seems like the “voice of the people” is ...

Preaching for human rights

October 7, 2014
BY: Beatrice Lamwaka

Human rights advocates must take their message to street corners, like ...

What do Muslim women want? Finding women’s rights in Islam

October 2, 2014
BY: Xaviera Medina

The Koran proclaims equality between the sexes but also clearly indicates ...

Myth and reality: the Catholic Church and human rights in Latin America

September 11, 2014
BY: Ariadna Estévez

While the progressive Catholic Church is on the frontline of defending ...

Pentecostal Christianity: retrogressive force or dynamic ally?

September 9, 2014
BY: Richard L. Wood
Español | Français

Pentecostal Christianity is one of the fastest growing religious forces ...

For human rights, religious interpretation matters most

August 27, 2014
BY: Iyad Barghouthi

Religious interpretation is what counts. This explains why Pakistanis ...

Whose faith wins? Keeping religion out of the law

August 14, 2014
BY: Geraldyn Ezeakile

Religion may help to control behavior and justify human worth and dignity, ...

Arguing like Abraham for Gaza’s innocents

August 11, 2014
BY: Rabbi Arik Ascherman
العربية | עברית | Türkçe

Most Israeli Jews support the Gaza war, but the justice of self-defense ...

Occu-Kashrut and ethical Jewish consumerism

July 23, 2014
BY: Louis Frankenthaler

For some, a boycott of products made in Israeli settlements - Occu-Kashrut ...

Let’s talk about religion

July 4, 2014
BY: Meghan L. Morris

Many human rights advocates work with people and/or communities who believe ...

The real power of rights is not religion

June 19, 2014
BY: Michael Bochenek

It’s not useful to debate whether human rights derive from religion or ...

In Africa, human rights and religion often go together

June 12, 2014
BY: Abamfo Ofori Atiemo

In Africa and other regions in the global South, religion and human rights ...

No human rights without God

May 28, 2014
BY: Daniel Philpott

Human rights need God because three ingredients are critical to their ...

Faith in rights: ethics of the public square

May 14, 2014
BY: Amyn B. Sajoo

Human rights cannot thrive globally without the support of pluralist religious ...

Starting at the top: why rights groups need to engage religious leaders

May 1, 2014
BY: Parsa Venkateshwar Rao Jr 

For human rights to find resonance in the global South, we must connect ...

The politicization of Hindu faith in India

April 30, 2014
BY: Fr. Cedric Prakash Sj
Español | Français | العربية

Hinduism preaches tolerance, the Indian Constitution enshrines plurality. ...

The paradox of religion and rights

April 23, 2014
BY: Jeremy Carrette

While religion is foundational to human rights, it is also problematic. ...

In Israel, Rabbis for Human Rights address painful paradoxes

April 17, 2014
BY: Rabbi Arik Ascherman
Español | Français | العربية | עברית

In a world where so much blood is shed for religion, Rabbis for Human ...

Muslim NGOs, aid, and human rights

April 17, 2014
BY: Marie Juul Petersen 
Español | Français | العربية

Drawing on studies of Muslim aid organisations in Britain, Saudi Arabia, ...

Religion as a human rights liability

April 16, 2014
BY: Nida Kirmani 
Español | اردو | العربية

lthough many human rights movements have religious underpinnings, explicitly ...

Human rights abuse in Burma and the role of Buddhist nationalism

April 16, 2014
BY: Wai Yan Phone 
ภาษาไทย | မြန်မာဘာသာ

Myanmar is taking significant strides towards political and economic liberalization ...

The rights in Hinduism

April 15, 2014
BY: Arvind Sharma 
Español | العربية

Contrary to popular perception, Hindu philosophies of moral agency, duty ...

Islamic and UN Bills of Rights: same difference

April 15, 2014
BY: Muhtari Aminu-Kano & Ayaz Ali & Atallah Fitzgibbon
Français | Español | العربية

Despite tension between western notions of individual freedom and Muslim ...