Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination
Based on Religion or Belief
Proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 36/55 of 25 November 1981
The General Assembly,
Considering that one of the basic principles of the Charter of the United Nations is that of the dignity
and equality inherent in all human beings, and that all Member States have pledged themselves to
take joint and separate action in co-operation with the Organization to promote and encourage
universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without
distinction as to race, sex, language or religion,
Considering that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenants on Human
Rights proclaim the principles of non-discrimination and equality before the law and the right to
freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief,
Considering that the disregard and infringement of human rights and fundamental freedoms, in
particular of the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or whatever belief, have brought,
directly or indirectly, wars and great suffering to mankind, especially where they serve as a means of
foreign interference in the internal affairs of other States and amount to kindling hatred between
peoples and nations,
Considering that religion or belief, for anyone who professes either, is one of the fundamental
elements in his conception of life and that freedom of religion or belief should be fully respected and
guaranteed,
Considering that it is essential to promote understanding, tolerance and respect in matters relating to
freedom of religion and belief and to ensure that the use of religion or belief for ends inconsistent with
the Charter of the United Nations, other relevant instruments of the United Nations and the purposes
and principles of the present Declaration is inadmissible,
Convinced that freedom of religion and belief should also contribute to the attainment of the goals of
world peace, social justice and friendship among peoples and to the elimination of ideologies or
practices of colonialism and racial discrimination,
Noting with satisfaction the adoption of several, and the coming into force of some, conventions, under
the aegis of the United Nations and of the specialized agencies, for the elimination of various forms of
discrimination,
Concerned by manifestations of intolerance and by the existence of discrimination in matters of religion
or belief still in evidence in some areas of the world,
Resolved to adopt all necessary measures for the speedy elimination of such intolerance in all its forms
and manifestations and to prevent and combat discrimination on the ground of religion or belief,
Proclaims this Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on
Religion or Belief:
Article 1
1. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include
freedom to have a religion or whatever 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.
2. No one shall be subject to coercion which would impair his freedom to have a religion or belief of his
choice.

Select target paragraph3