[Text on screen]: Freedom of Thought, Religion and Belief: Article 9 of the Human Rights Act.

Article 9 ensures our right to hold certain beliefs, whether that be in public or private.

What does the Human Rights Act officially say?

“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.”

But what exactly does it mean?

Basically, we have the right to follow and practice our beliefs, as long as they don’t hurt others. It means we can show our faith in various ways:

- Wear religious clothing
- Talk about our faith with others
- Take part in religious worship

Crucially, Article 9 also protects our right to not follow a religion, or engage in other non-religious beliefs. Atheism, veganism and pacifism are just a few that are protected.

We also have the freedom to change our religion or belief if we so choose.

Article 9 can only be restricted by the government in limited circumstances, such as in the interest of public safety or when the rights and freedoms of others are at risk.

Here are three key examples of what it does for us:

1. People can claim asylum to protect them from religious persecution. (MT case, 2010)
2. We can refuse to serve in the military because of our beliefs. (Bayatyan case, 2011)
3. Believers have the right to worship in private or in public (Eweida case, 2012)

Freedom of thought, belief and religion means we all have the right to peacefully demonstrate our faith.

Learn more about your rights at www.eachother.org.uk
Discrimination, Religion

The right to freedom of religion explained in 2 minutes!

Published on 22 Feb 2022

This video is about Article 9 of the HRA which is freedom of religion, thought, and belief. This right provides us with the freedom to act on our faith and take part in religious worship, or change our beliefs when we see fit.

This video is part of a wider series showcasing the protections the HRA provides us and why they are so important in our daily lives. We’ve also curated a week of written content surrounding the proposed reform of the HRA so that you can stay informed and up to date on the latest developments.

The Human Rights Act is central to ensuring we can all live safe and secure life. It sets out a range of principles that the government, and public bodies, must follow and uphold for all of us. If they fail to follow them, we have the ability to take our case to a UK court and, if our rights have been violated, we may be fairly compensated. The Human Rights Act has given us the ability to stand up to those in power.

But the Human Rights Act is under threat.

The government has announced plans to reform the HRA into a new British Bill of Rights, which lawyers and campaigners are concerned will shift more power in favour of the government, and weaken the protections we have available to us. We need to ensure that human rights are accessible and available for everyone, but we may risk losing those protections if the government’s reform comes into effect.

Want to learn more? Head on over to our spotlight page to read more about the proposals to the HRA.You can find more videos in this HRA series on our Youtube playlist.

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