Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.
— From Article 18 of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1
Religious freedom is a universal human right, 2 one of the foundations of modern democracy. 3 The freedom to have, adopt, manifest, practice, observe, and teach the spiritual doctrine one chooses is extolled in international treaties and protected in the constitutions and laws of many modern democracies. Religious freedom was one of the first human rights to be codified, spurring the evolution and recognition of broader human rights.