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Court: Compulsory Religion Class Against Equality Principle


The İstanbul 4th Administrative Court has given its final judgment on an appeal by a parent, who requested her child to be exempted from compulsory religion class. The court has ruled that the class is against the principle of equality.

Lachiri v. Belgium: Headscarf ban imposed on a civil party in a courtroom in violation of religious freedom

International Media

The Court’s ruling in Lachiri is to be welcome for its main finding, namely that prohibiting a private person from wearing a religious dress in a courtroom cannot be justified by the protection of public order and violates the right to religious freedom. However, this judgment remains focused on the specificities of the case and does little to clarify to what extent and in what circumstances religious dress prohibition may be deemed compatible with the Convention in other situations.

The Freedom of Religion or Belief Learning Platform, Launch March 2018


The learning platform aims to contribute to building a social, political and legal culture of freedom of religion or belief for all from the grassroots up and the top down. Peace, stability and development depend upon human rights, not least our ability to live together, accepting rights for all, despite our deepest differences.

Armenian Church seeks to reclaim historic HQ from Turkey


The Catholicosate's legal team filed a brief before the Turkish Constitutional Court on April 28 to start a lawsuit that seeks the return to the Armenian Church of key properties seized following the Armenian genocide of 1915.

Preliminary findings of Country Visit to Lebanon by the UN Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief


From 23 March to 2 April, I have undertaken a visit to Lebanon in my capacity as United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief. First of all, I am grateful that the Government has accepted my request to visit Lebanon under its standing invitation to all thematic Special Procedures of the United Nations Human Rights Council. I am also very much indebted to the Regional Office of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in Beirut because of its kind logistical, organizational and intellectual support. Cordial thanks in particular to the interlocutors from Government agencies, a broad range of civil society organizations, academics, various religious dignitaries or community leaders, refugees and migrant workers, who have shared their experiences, assessments and visions. We had many lively, frank and open discussions in Beirut, Tripoli, Anjar and Zahle where I have learned a lot during those exchanges.

Threat to Neve Shalom Synagogue


On November 7, an unidentified person posted a note saying “To be Demolished” on the main entrance gate of Neve Shalom Synagogue, Istanbul’s largest synagogue.