Lady Berridge: We must champion the freedom to change

“It is time to pursue with equal enthusiasm the idea of the free market of religion and belief – the recognition that religion and belief is an important part of being human, and that we have a responsibility to promote the equality of opportunity for all humans to make belief choices and pursue them. This means promoting a capacious freedom to express views, proselytize (both for religions and atheistic views), and most importantly, a robust protection of the freedom to convert, both at home and abroad.”

In a comment piece on the ConservativeHome website, Lady Berridge, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for International Freedom of Religion or Belief, refers to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s speech in Parliament last week, and then concludes:

“It is my belief that promotion of the freedom to convert is the acid test of whether a person’s commitment to freedom of religion or belief is real. It is a value that is shared by many abroad, but has been partly won in Britain through the death of those who refused to give it up, and so is woven into our history. Today it has the power to bind us together – Humanist, Christian, Jew, Muslim – in a respectful and vehemently disagreeing alliance against those across the world who would seek to play God with the conscience of others.”

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