Religion & Human Rights

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Religion & Human Rights

Key Terms

United Nations Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) : Document produced by the United Nations setting out all the rights that people should be entitled to

Pressure group: An organised collection of people who seek to influence political decision or promote a particular issue

Amnesty: A pardon for crimes commited

'Truly, God loves those who are just'

'If one part of the body suffers, every part suffers with it'

'Love your neighbour as yourself'

Over the centuries there has been a gradual realisation that everyone should have rights and be protected from abuse. 

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Religion & Human Rights


Created in1948 and adopted by the United Nations. It consists of 30 rights. A list of rights that everyone in the UN is entitled to. 

  • Everyone is born free and equal
  • Everyone is innocent until proven guilty 
  • Everyone has the right to an education 

Chrisitans- Human beings have rights because God loves people and 'created man in his own image'. Most Christians believe that sometimes laws need to be changed. 

Muslim- Law is based upon the Quar'an. All laws must agree with the teachings of the Qur'an.

Religion does not always give rights to everyone. Homosexual marriages are rarely allowed. 

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Childrens Rights

The UN decided that young people under the age of 18 need special care and protection from people who ignore human rights.

Children often have many difficulties in their lives, (physical violence, issues at school, being lonely or worries about the future). Childline provides a free 24 hour councelling service for young people.

Help with Human Rights in the UK

Sometimes people do not know what their human rights are, or how to protect them. The Citizens Advice Bureau was set up to offer free advice.

Some people get very stressed about their problems that they may consider taking their own lives. The Samaritans offer a 24 hour service for people to talk about their problems and lower the suicide rate. They also do research into depression and suicide. 

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Pressure Groups

Pressure groups campaignto influence political decisions about a particular issue. For example the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). 

The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC)

  • Fights for the rights of the unborn child
  • Aims to promote the well being of the child from conception, rather than birth
  • It acts as a pro-life pressure group on the government


Christian- There is no single view. Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches forbid abortion. Generally, all Christians have concerns about abortion as they believe that all human life is sacred and made in Gods image. 

Muslim- Life is considered scared and is not disposable. Allah created life and only he can take it away. After four months the foetus has equal rights as its mother. 

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  • Writing letters to MPs.Council 
  • Organising march with banners
  • Setting up a website
  • Petitions

Religious believers may:

  • Pray about the situation
  • Organise a religious parade
  • Discuss the issue with faith groups and religious leaders

Most religious people choose peaceful methods when they wish to protest. With exception to a few extremists. 

Religious Campaigners who support Human Rights

Gandhi- used forms of civil disobedience (hunger strikes, marches etc.) 

Martin Luther King- led the black civil rights movement 

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