A ‘Precious Asset’?

A ‘Precious Asset’?

Analyzing Religious Freedom Protections in Europe

In its first judgement on Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the Strasbourg Court held that freedom of thought, conscience, and religion is ‘a precious asset for atheists, agnostics, sceptics and the unconcerned’. 

This book questions and elaborates on this statement, in the context of the current European legal setting. 

Part I offers a theoretical overview of why freedom of religion matters, and the European regulatory framework of this human right. 

Part II focuses on the challenges of interpreting and protecting religious freedom in the context of employment, education, media reporting, free speech, and freedom of association. Is ‘corporate neutrality’ a legitimate basis for suppressing individual manifestations of religion? Do public expressions of religious values constitute ‘hate speech’? To what extent and under what criteria can States limit the freedom of association of religious groups? Overall, is freedom of religion still indeed ‘a precious asset’ in Europe?

Adina Portaru is legal counsel for ADF International in Brussels, where she advocates for religious freedom. 

The ‘Conscience of Europe?’


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The ‘Conscience of Europe?’:

Navigating Shifting Tides at the European Court of Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights has the monumental task of protecting the most fundamental freedoms of more than 800 million citizens across 47 States. That’s a significant challenge given that the Court is asked to reconcile substantial disagreements between these States on controversial issues—and views on marriage, family, sanctity of life, and religious freedom are far less cohesive now than when the European Convention on Human Rights was drafted.

The ‘Conscience of Europe?’ examines the Court’s sometimes unpredictable jurisprudence in these increasingly controversial areas. With a palpable concern for human rights and religious freedom, the contributors provide an objective critique of the Court’s role, while exploring the changes recent years have brought to the complex legal landscape of Europe.

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‘This manual provides useful keys for unlocking the important, but complex, jurisprudence of Europe’s highest human rights court.’

-JUDGE BORREGO BORREGO, Former Judge of the European Court of Human Rights


Censored addresses the rise of so-called ‘hate speech’ laws throughout Europe and their devastating effect on freedom of speech.  In Germany, for example, committing an ‘insult’ is a criminal offence and in Poland offending ‘religious feelings’ carries a two year prison sentence.

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Rede Frei!

Die Broschüre ist in Zusammenarbeit zwischen der Evangelischen Allianz in Deutschland, der Juristenvereinigung Christ und Jurist e.V. und ADF International entstanden.

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Beauty For Ashes

The summer of 2014 marked the beginning of a dark time for Christians in Iraq. That June, the Islamic State (ISIS) launched a major military offensive against the northern part of the country. Their jihad swept across the region so rapidly that state security forces were quickly overwhelmed. The government, paralyzed, offered little help to minorities—including Christians—who stood in the path of the oncoming violence.

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