Religion and belief play a significant role in our States and societies. Over 100 States refer to God in their constitutional or similar instruments, and religion and belief are often present in different branches of government or are interwoven into a State’s self-understanding. The right to freedom of religion or belief is enshrined in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
At the IPU, we believe in the central role of parliaments in guaranteeing the rule of law and justice and also in contributing to more inclusive societies. Our strategy encourages parliaments to view themselves as part of broader ecosystems with which they must engage for the promotion of peace, democracy and sustainable development for all.
The present report explores the institutional engagement of parliaments with different aspects of religion and belief. It reviews and assesses parliamentary mechanisms and activities and also highlights how parliaments promote inclusion and engage with religion and belief in a way that reflects different needs, values and parliamentary cultures.