Belief / religion

There are many different religions or religious communities worldwide. The most well- known are the five world religions: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Judaism. Many religions have been around for centuries or even millennia. They shape the culture and worldview, the behavior, thinking and feeling of the women and men who belong to them and also influence their values.

Most countries - including Germany - have a legal right to freedom of religion. That is, everyone has the freedom to follow their own religion or belief. Everyone can believe in what he or she wants. Religious freedom also includes the freedom to not belong to any religion and not to believe in a god. Everyone can decide for himself or herself what religion means to him or her and also to live accordingly. However, this only applies as long as the rights of others are not violated. Religious freedom is a fundamental right and a human right. It is a very important basic right that can be enforced through the court of law.

Nevertheless, this right is often violated in everyday life. This particularly applies to people who do not belong to the same religion as the majority of society. They often encounter prejudice or rejection because their religious practice is different to most people and is therefore treated with suspicion. One example of this in Germany is the headscarf debate. Headscarf and burka bans etc. have been repeatedly demanded in parts of the country. Muslims who wear a headscarf or other covering clothing as an expression of their religion sometimes face prejudices. People who display such religious characteristics are often treated like this. It no longer counts who they are, what they think or feel. They are only seen in relation to their religion, with all the prejudices and false attributions that are often associated with it.

Nobody has the right to demean you for your belief, nor to dictate what you have to believe. Your religious preference is entirely your own decision. 

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