Freedom Declared Foundation are hosting a webinar series to discuss how the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the fundamental human right of Freedom of Religion or Belief.
The first episode of our webinar series aims to highlight this lack of genuine understanding within the context of the Covid pandemic. With Governments around the UK closing places of worship, Freedom Declared Foundation wants to understand more deeply the interaction between Governments and different faith groups. Joining us for this conversation was Bishop John Keenan, Catholic Bishop of Paisley; Jagtar Singh Gill, trustee and founding member of the Sikh Assembly; and, Richy Thompson, Director of Public Affairs at Humanists UK.
Freedom of Religion or Belief is a fundamental human right. It is protected by Article 18 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and in UK law through Article 9 of the European Convention of Human Rights. This episode will examine how COVID-19 has affected Freedom of Religion or Belief in the United Kingdom. The webinar focuses on the successful legal challenge in Scotland; how faith groups initially responded to lockdown; and the long-term impact to freedom of religion or belief. Chairing our talk is one of our trustees, Stephen Kerr MSP. Our wonderful guest speakers were Lois McLatchie, Imam Sayed Razawi, and Rabbi Herschel Gluck OBE.
Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance”. Sadly, many parts of the world see this fundamental human right being infringed. Worryingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has seen some Governments around the world use emergency powers around the world to crackdown on freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including the prohibiting of online teaching, practise, worship and observance. Chairing our disucssion was The Rt Hon Alistair Burt, and our speakers were Dr Lisa Cameron MP, Paramjit Kaur Matharu, and Benedict Rogers.