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A Soul for the Union

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How to think about religious freedom


10th March 2014


“British citizens have long taken it for
granted that they enjoyed as much religious
freedom as they wanted and as much as
anyone anywhere the world. They assumed
that infringements on such freedom were
burdens suffered by faraway foreigners under
oppressive regimes.

“But in recent years there have emerged
serious and increasing conflicts, many
reaching the courts, between supposed
religious freedoms – including freedom
of religious conscience and freedom to
associate for religious purposes – and the
expanding imperatives of new equality
laws. These conflicts are as neuralgic and
disturbing for some as they are technically
baffling to most of us.

“In this report, Nick Spencer cuts through
the complexities and offers us a wonderfully
clear and judicious overview of what is
at stake, why religious freedom is so
important to human beings and can’t be
taken for granted, and how it can be
more intelligently and fairly balanced
with the legitimate claims for
equal treatment and nondiscrimination
of which our
society is justly proud. ”

Jonathan Chaplin, Director,
Kirby Laing Institute
for Christian Ethics