freedom of religion

(a) Explain what is meant by ‘religious freedom’. [30]

(b) ‘Religious freedom is more important than community cohesion.’Evaluate this view. [20]

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Freedom of Religion is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights 1958:
'Everyone, including women and children, 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.'
Candidates should reflect on the tensions inherent in preserving that
right. Recent discussions regarding the veil in Islam would provide
good material.
(a) Explain what is meant by `religious freedom'. [30]
(b) `Religious freedom is more important than community cohesion.'
Evaluate this view. [20]
Q.1 (a) Most students knew the basics with regular mention of
religious freedom as a right and with some mention of the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights.
Many listed examples of religious freedoms and, in particular, where
the case was not upheld ­ the British Airways crucifix case, the
banning of the Burkha in France and the schoolgirl not allowed to
wear a kara. The best students linked this well with scholarly
argument and debate. A few candidates allowed them to be
side-tracked into writing too much on freedom of speech and the
out-dated nature of the blasphemy laws. Jerry Springer
was a popular figure in mid-low range answers.
(b) Most focussed on the pros and cons of religious freedom, though
only the best candidates were able to link this effectively with
community cohesion. For the most part, there ere rather muddled
references to community cohesion and few were prepared to offer
a valid and supported argument. In the mid-range there were large
numbers of general answers, many repeating what had already been
said in (a). There was some useful reference to the 2001 Census.


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