Freedom of thought and religion

Under Article 18 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

The right to freedom of thought and religion includes freedom to change religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest one’s religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. These rights are also found in Article 18 of the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and Article 9 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.

Freedom of religion may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others. Safeguarding religious freedom includes a prohibition against provisions that explicitly target a certain religious practice or that clearly aim at interfering with a certain religious belief.

Freedom of religion is enshrined in the Swedish Constitution, and the fight against discrimination on grounds of religion is an issue of top priority for the Government. See also the section on protection against discrimination.