International Human Rights Standards

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U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS STANDARDS: SELECTED PROVISIONS ON FREEDOM OF THOUGHT, CONSCIENCE, AND RELIGION OR BELIEF

This document sets forth the relevant provisions of international instruments, as well as further information concerning international standards concerning the protection of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief.

A. EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF THOUGHT, CONSCIENCE, AND RELIGION

  • Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 (UDHR), Art. 18:

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966 (ICCPR), Art. 18:
  • Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or 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.
  • No one shall be subject to coercion, which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.
  • Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
  • The States Parties to the present Covenant undertake to have respect for the liberty of parents and, when applicable, legal guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.
  • In general, according to the UN Human Rights Committee (HRC), the treaty body that reviews compliance with the ICCPR, Article 18 of the ICCPR protects:

theistic, non-theistic and atheistic beliefs, as well as the right not to profess any religion or belief. The terms “belief” and “religion” are to be broadly construed. Article 18 is not limited in its application to traditional religions or to religions and beliefs with institutional characteristics or practices analogous to those of traditional religions. The Committee therefore views with concern any tendency to discriminate against any religion or belief for any reason, including the fact that they are newly established, or represent religious minorities that may be the subject of hostility on the part of a predominant religious community.

Human Rights Committee (HRC) General Comment No. 22 (1993)

  • European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1950 (ECHR), Art. 9:

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

  • Helsinki Final Act 1975, Principle VII:

The participating States will respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief, for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion.

  • UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief 1981 (UN 1981 Dec.), Art. 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 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. (3) Freedom to manifest one’s religion or belief may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.

Components of the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief include:

1. Freedom to Change One’s Religion or Belief [UDHR, Art. 18, ECHR, Art. 9(1), OSCE Copenhagen Document, Art. 9(4)]

2. Freedom to Have or to Adopt a Religion or Belief of One’s Choice [ICCPR Art. 18(1)]

  • Necessarily entails the freedom to choose a religion or belief, including the right to replace one’s current religion or belief with another or to adopt atheistic views, as well as the right to retain one's religion or belief;
  • No limitations permitted on this freedom; and
  • No individual shall be compelled to reveal his or her thoughts or adherence to a religion or belief.

HRC General Comment No. 22 (paras. 3, 5)

3. Freedom From Coercion Which Would Impair an Individual’s Freedom to Have or To Adopt a Religion or Belief of His or Her Choice [ICCPR, Art. 18(2) and UN 1981 Dec. Art. 1(2)]

  • No limitations are permitted on this freedom.
  • The same protection is enjoyed by holders of all beliefs of a non-religious nature.
  • Examples of impermissible coercion that would impair the right to have or adopt a religion or belief include:
  • The use of threat of physical force or penal sanctions to compel believers or non-believers to adhere to specific beliefs and congregations, to recant their religion or belief, or to convert; and
  • Policies or practices having the same intention or effect, such as, for example, those restricting political rights protected under article 25 of the ICCPR or access to education, medical care or employment

Human Rights Committee (HRC) General Comment No. 22 (para. 5)

4. Freedom to Manifest Religion or Belief in Worship, Observance, Practice, and Teaching [UDHR, Art. 18, ICCPR, Art. 18(1), UN 1981 Dec., Art. 1, OSCE Vienna Document, Art. 16(d)]

  • This freedom may be exercised in public or in private, individually or in community with others.
  • This freedom, at a minimum, encompasses the following freedoms:
  • To worship or assemble in connection with a religion or belief, and to establish and maintain, including the building of places of worship, freely accessible places for these purposes;
  • To establish and maintain appropriate charitable or humanitarian institutions, and seminaries or religious schools;
  • To make, acquire and use to an adequate extent the necessary articles and materials related to the rites or customs of a religion or belief, including the use of ritual formulae and objects, the display of symbols, observance of dietary regulations, the wearing of distinctive clothing or head coverings, participation in rituals associated with certain stages of life, and the use of a particular language customarily spoken by a group;
  • To write, issue and disseminate relevant publications in these areas;
  • To teach a religion or belief in places suitable for these purposes;
  • To solicit and receive voluntary financial and other contributions from individuals and institutions;
  • To organize, train, appoint, elect, designate by succession, or replace appropriate leaders, priests and teachers called for by the requirements and standards of any religion or belief;
  • To observe days of rest and to celebrate holidays and ceremonies in accordance with the precepts of one’s religion or belief; and
  • To establish and maintain communications with individuals and communities in matters of religion and belief at the national and international levels.

5. Permissible Limitations on the Freedom to Manifest Religion or Belief [ICCPR, Art. 18(3) and UN 1981 Dec., Art. 1(3)]

Freedom to manifest religion or belief may be subject to only such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.

  • No derogation may be made from freedom of thought, conscience and religion, even during “time of public emergency which threatens the life of the nation.”(ICCPR, Art. 4(2) and UDHR, Arts. 29 & 30)
  • Limitations must be established by law and must not be applied in a manner that would vitiate the rights guaranteed in article 18.
  • Paragraph 3 of article 18 is to be strictly interpreted: limitations are not allowed on grounds not specified there, even if they would be allowed as limitations to other rights protected in the Covenant (for example, a limitation based on national security is impermissible).
  • Limitations may be applied only for those purposes for which they were prescribed and must be directly related and proportionate to the specific need on which they are predicated.
  • Limitations may not be imposed for discriminatory purposes or applied in a discriminatory manner.
  • Limitations on the freedom to manifest a religion or belief for the purpose of protecting morals must be based on principles not deriving exclusively from a single tradition or religion.
  • Persons already subject to certain legitimate constraints, such as prisoners, continue to enjoy their rights to manifest their religion or belief to the fullest extent compatible with the specific nature of the constraint.

HRC General Comment No. 22 (para. 8)

  • Nothing in the UDHR shall be interpreted as implying for any State, group, or person any right to engage in any activity or to perform any act aimed at the destruction of any of the rights and freedoms set forth therein.

 UDHR Art. 30

B. PERSONS BELONGING TO RELIGIOUS MINORITIES SHALL NOT BE DENIED THE RIGHT, IN COMMUNITY WITH OTHER MEMBERS OF THEIR GROUP, TO PROFESS AND PRACTICE THEIR OWN RELIGION

[ICCPR, Art. 27, OSCE Vienna Document Art. 19, OSCE Copenhagen Document, and UN Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious or Linguistic Minorities, Arts. 1-2 and 4]

  • In those States in which ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to such minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with the other members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion, or to use their own language

—ICCPR, Article 27

  • States shall protect the existence and the national or ethnic, cultural, religious and linguistic identity of minorities within their respective territories, shall encourage conditions for the promotion of that identity, and shall adopt appropriate legislative and other measures to achieve those ends.

—UN Declaration on the Rights of Minorities

  • The State “will protect and create conditions for the promotion of the ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of national minorities on their territory. They will respect the free exercise of rights by persons belonging to such minorities and ensure their full equality with others.”

—OSCE Vienna Document

C. EVERYONE HAS THE RIGHT TO EQUAL AND EFFECTIVE PROTECTION AGAINST DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF RELIGION OR BELIEF [ICCPR, Arts. 2(1) and 26, OSCE Vienna Document, Art. 16(a), and OSCE Copenhagen Document, Art. 40(1-2)]

This right includes the following components:

1. States Undertake to Respect and to Ensure for All Individuals Within its Territory and Subject to its Jurisdiction the Rights Recognized in the ICCPR Without Distinction of Any Kind, Including Religion [ICCPR Art. 2(1)]

2. All Persons Are Equal Before the Law and Are Entitled Without Any Discrimination to the Equal Protection of the Law. [ICCPR, Art. 26]

3. The Law Shall Prohibit Any Discrimination and Guarantee to All Persons Equal and Effective Protection Against Discrimination on Any Ground, Including Religion. [ICCPR, Art. 26]

  • The application of the principle of non-discrimination contained in article 26 of the ICCPR is not limited to those rights which are provided for in the Covenant, and extends to prohibit discrimination in law or in fact in any field regulated and protected by public authorities;
  • The term “discrimination” as used in the ICCPR should be understood to imply any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference which is based on any ground such as race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, and which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by all persons, on an equal footing, of all rights and freedoms;
  • The enjoyment of rights and freedoms on an equal footing, however, does not mean identical treatment in every instance;
  • The principle of equality sometimes requires States parties to take affirmative action in order to diminish or eliminate conditions which cause or help to perpetuate discrimination prohibited by the ICCPR; and
  • Not every differentiation of treatment will constitute discrimination, if the criteria for such differentiation are reasonable and objective and if the aim is to achieve a purpose which is legitimate under the ICCPR.

—HRC General Comment No. 18 (paras. 7, 8, 10, 12, 13)

4. Protection Against Discrimination by Any State, Institution, Group of Persons or Person on the Grounds of Religion or Other Belief [UN 1981 Dec., Arts. 2(1) and 4]

  • States shall take effective measures to prevent and eliminate discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief in the recognition, exercise and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms in all fields of civil, economic, political, social and cultural life.
  • States shall make all efforts to enact or rescind legislation where necessary to prohibit any such discrimination.
  • States shall take all appropriate measures to combat intolerance on the grounds of religion or other beliefs in this matter.

—UN 1981 Dec., Arts. 4(1) and 4(2)

  • Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance, and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups ….

—UDHR Art. 26(2)

  • State parties will “foster a climate of mutual tolerance and respect between believers of different communities as well as between believers and non-believers.”

—OSCE Vienna Document, principle 16b

D. STATES SHALL PROHIBIT BY LAW ANY ADVOCACY OF NATIONAL, RACIAL OR RELIGIOUS HATRED THAT CONSTITUTES INCITEMENT TO DISCRIMINATION, HOSTILITY OR VIOLENCE [ICCPR, Art. 20]

  • No manifestation of religion or belief may amount to propaganda for war or advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination; hostility or violence… [and] States parties are under the obligation to enact laws to prohibit such acts.

—HRC General Comment No. 22 (para. 7)

  • State parties should take the measures necessary to fulfill the obligations contained in article 20 of the ICCPR, and should themselves refrain from any such propaganda or advocacy.

—HRC General Comment No. 11 (para. 2)

  • Article 20 does not authorize or require legislation or other action by the United States that would restrict the right of free speech and association protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

—United States reservation to ICCPR Art. 20

  • States will take effective measures, including the adoption of laws, to provide protection against any acts that constitute incitement to violence against persons or groups based on national, racial, ethnic or religious discrimination, hostility or hatred, including anti-Semitism.

—OSCE Copenhagen Document

  • States commit themselves to take appropriate and proportionate measures to protect persons or groups who may be subject to threats or acts of discrimination, hostility or violence as a result of their racial, ethnic, cultural, linguistic or religious identity, and to protect their property;

—OSCE Copenhagen Document

E. THE RIGHTS OF PARENTS IN RELATION TO FREEDOM OF RELIGION OR BELIEF

[ICCPR Art. 18(4), OSCE Vienna Document Art. 16(f) and 16(g)]

  • State Parties undertake to respect the liberty of parents and legal guardians to ensure the religious and moral education of their children in conformity with their own convictions.

—ICCPR Article 18(4)

  • The liberty of parents and guardians to ensure religious and moral education cannot be restricted.
  • Public school instruction in subjects such as the general history of religions and ethics is permitted if it is given in a neutral and objective way.
  • Public education that includes instruction in a particular religion or belief is inconsistent with ICCPR Art. 18 (4) unless provision is made for non-discriminatory exemptions or alternatives that would accommodate the wishes of parents and guardians.

—HRC General Comment No. 22 (paras. 6 & 8)

  • Parents or legal guardians have the right to organize family life in accordance with their religion or belief and bearing in mind the moral education in which they believe the child should be brought up.
  • Every child shall enjoy the right to have access to education in the matter of religion or belief in accordance with the wishes of his parents or legal guardians, and shall not be compelled to receive teaching on religion or belief against the wishes of his parents or legal guardians, the best interests of the child being the guiding principle.
  • The child shall be protected from any form of discrimination on the ground of religion or belief.
  • In the case of a child who is not under the care either of his parents or of legal guardians, due account shall be taken of their expressed wishes or of any other proof of their wishes in the matter of religion or belief, the best interests of the child being the guiding principle.
  • Practices of a religion or belief in which a child is brought up must not be injurious to his physical or mental health or to his full development, taking into account article 1(3) of the present Declaration.

—UN 1981 Dec., art. 5

F. FURTHER ELABORATION ON SELECTED TOPICS

1. Obligation to Ensure Rights/Provide Remedies for Violations [ICCPR Arts. 2(2) and 2(3), UDHR Art. 8, UN 1981 Dec. Art. 7]

The ICCPR requires State parties to adopt such laws or other measures as may be necessary to give effect to the rights recognized in the Covenant. This obligation includes ensuring:

  • effective remedies for any person whose rights or freedoms are violated;
  • that such remedies are determined by competent judicial, administrative or legislative authorities; and
  • that such remedies are enforced when granted.

2. Relationship between Religion and the State

  • The fact that a religion is recognized as a state religion or established as official or traditional, or that its followers comprise the majority of the population, shall not result in any impairment of the enjoyment of any of the rights under the ICCPR, nor in any discrimination against adherents to other religions or non-believers.
  • In particular, measures restricting eligibility for government service to members of the predominant religion, or giving economic privileges to them, or imposing special restrictions on the practice of other faiths are not in accordance with the prohibition of discrimination based on religion or belief and the guarantee of equal protection under ICCPR article 26.
  • If a set of beliefs is treated as official ideology in constitutions, statutes, proclamations of ruling parties, etc., or in actual practice, this shall not result in any impairment of the freedoms under article 18 or any other rights recognized under the ICCPR nor in any discrimination against persons who do not accept the official ideology or who oppose it.

—HRC General Comment No. 22 (para. 9)

  • State parties are required to grant communities of believers, practicing or prepared to practice their faith within constitutional boundaries, “recognition of the status provided for them in their respective countries.”

—OSCE Vienna Document

3. Women’s Equal Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief

  • The principle of non-discrimination is so basic that each State party is obligated to ensure the equal right of men and women to the enjoyment of the rights set forth in the ICCPR.

—HRC General Comment No. 18 (para. 2)

  • Inequality in the enjoyment of rights by women throughout the world is deeply embedded in tradition, history and culture, including religious attitudes. The subordinate role of women in some countries is illustrated by the high incidence of prenatal sex selection and abortion of female fetuses. States parties should ensure that traditional, historical, religious or cultural attitudes are not used to justify violations of women’s right to equality before the law and to equal enjoyment of all ICCPR rights.
  • State parties should report and provide data on a number of issues related to religion and women’s rights, including:
    • pregnancy- and childbirth-related deaths of women, as well as gender-disaggregated data on infant mortality rates;
    • information on the extent of any practice of genital mutilation, and on measures to eliminate it;
    • measures to protect women from practices that violate their right to life, such as female infanticide, the burning of widows and dowry killings;
    • regulation of clothing to be worn by women in public; and
    • whether women may give evidence as witnesses on the same terms as men; whether measures are taken to ensure women equal access to legal aid, in particular in family matters; and whether certain categories of women are denied the enjoyment of the presumption of innocence.
  • Freedoms protected by Article 18 must not be subject to restrictions other than those authorized by the ICCPR and must not be constrained by, inter alia, rules requiring permission from third parties, or by interference from fathers, husbands, brothers or others. Article 18 may not be relied upon to justify discrimination against women by reference to freedom of thought, conscience and religion;
  • The commission of so-called “honor crimes” which remain unpunished constitutes a serious violation of the ICCPR and laws which impose more severe penalties on women than on men for adultery or other offences also violate the requirement of equal treatment.

—HRC General Comment No. 28 (paras. 5, 10, 11, 13, 18, 21, 31)

  • Certain religious practices have an adverse effect on women’s rights. These practices include :
    • cultural stereotypes, including preference for male children, religious extremism, and regulation of women’s clothing;
    • discrimination in medical well-being, including genital mutilation, traditional childbirth practices, and dietary restrictions;
    • discrimination resulting from the condition of women within the family, including practices related to marriage and divorce (e.g.: polygamy, family planning, division of responsibilities);
    • discrimination related to transmission of nationality;
    • discrimination related to inheritance and independent management of finances;
    • discrimination related to right to life, including infanticide, cruel treatment of widows, and honor crimes,
    • attacks on dignity, including sexual abuse;
    • social ostracism, including denial of the right to education, and denial of access to professional fields such as politics and religion; and
    • aggravated discrimination against women who also are members of a minority community.
  • To ensure that freedom of religion does not undermine the rights of women, it is essential that this freedom not be understood as a right of indifference with respect to the status of women.

—UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Study on Freedom of Religion or Belief and the Status of Women with Regard to Religion and Traditions (Amor Report)

See Para. 4, UN HRC General Comment No. 22; Art. 6, UN 1981 Dec.; Art. 16(h-j), Vienna Document.

Derogation of rights is different than a limitation. Under the ICCPR, a state can, in a case of war or serious public emergency, take measures that limit the applicability of certain rights for the period of the emergency. Such measures could go well beyond the scope of limitations to rights that are permissible at any other time.

Did You Know?

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In 1935, the infamous “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” were branded a forgery by a Swiss court. “I hope that one day there will come a time,” the judge concluded, “when no one will any longer comprehend how in the year 1935 almost a dozen fully sensible and reasonable men could for fourteen days torment their brains before a court of Berne over the authenticity or lack of authenticity of these so-called Protocols…that for all the harm they have already caused and may yet cause, are nothing but ridiculous nonsense.” Sadly, the Protocols are still in circulation today, and are held up as "proof" for anti-Semitic theories.
In an attempt to forcibly transform the Soviet Union into a socialist paradise, the Communist Party declared the elimination of religion to be an ideological imperative. Even though the Orthodox Church was deeply interwoven in pre-revolutionary Russian society, the state forbade public expressions of faith, demolished hundreds of places of worship, and executed hundreds of priests. However, the Orthodox faith remained rooted in Russia - as communism collapsed in the late 1980s and early 90s, millions rushed to be baptized and thousands were ordained as priests. Despite attempts to eliminate religion, today the majority of Russians identify themselves as Orthodox Christian.
In 2012, online hate speech from Burma’s Facebook users exploded as some from the country's majority Buddhist population accused minority Muslims of a plot to dominate the country. With online vitriol stoking real-world conflicts, the Panzagar movement arose to combat the trend. Panzagar translates to "flower speech" in English, and the movement intervened through designing a series of “flower speech” Facebook stickers to post under offensive material. The stickers are cheerful and cartoonish, and seek to defuse heated arguments through lighthearted reminders to practice respect and tolerance.
Although branded as the transcript of a Jewish plot masterminding world domination, a large portion of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is copied directly from a political satire by French writer Maurice Joly. Joly’s protagonist warns, “Like the God Vishnu, my press will have a hundred arms and these arms will give their hands to all the different shades of opinion throughout the country." The Protocols attribute an almost identical statement to a “sinister” Jew. This plagiarism is just one of the many holes in the Protocols' so-called indictment of world Jewry.
Members of the Iranian Baha'i faith have been persecuted since the founding of the religion in the mid-1800s. This persecution severely intensified after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, and continues to this day. At roughly 300,000 adherents, they are the largest non-Muslim religious group in Iran, but are not among the recognized religious minorities in the country's constitution, and cannot count on its protections. Today Baha’is are regularly subjected to intimidation, arbitrary arrest, destruction of property, denial of employment and access to higher education. The leadership of the Baha’i faith in Iran continues to be imprisoned.
The magnificent Hagia Sophia was constructed by the Byzantine Empire as a Christian basilica in the 6th century CE, and has stood the test of time for almost 1500 years. When Sultan Mehmed II’s armies conquered Constantinople in 1453, he could not bring himself to destroy the beautiful building and instead added minarets, converting it into a mosque. Since its repurposing as a museum in 1935 the Hagia Sophia has served a physical reminder of the intertwined relationship between Islam and Christianity, with Islamic calligraphy and Christian mosaics adorning the same structure.
With more than 200 different ethnic groups, the landlocked East African nation of Chad is one of the world's most diverse. Although Arabic and French – legacies of Islamic conquest and European colonialism – are the two official languages, over a hundred languages are spoken within the country's borders. Islam, Christianity and various forms of animism and tribal ritual are widely practiced, and Christian holidays like Christmas, All Saints Day and Easter are public holidays alongside Islamic ones such as Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
In the spring of 1994, Hutu militants murdered up to one million Rwandans, mostly from the Tutsi ethnic group. However, the sharp ethnic distinction drawn between Tutsis and the majority Hutus is a recent phenomenon; originally, the term “Tutsi” denoted a person rich in cattle, while a "Hutu" was a grower of crops. It wasn’t until the advent of Belgian colonial rule that Rwandans were forced to carry identity cards denoting their ethnicity. That measure, along with the ban on Hutus seeking higher education and other discrimination sowed the seeds of genocide.
Afghanistan was once rich with pre-Islamic artifacts, but the Taliban and other marauding groups have destroyed many of these beautiful relics in the brutal struggles that have gripped the country. However, some concerned Afghans have acted to preserve the country's heritage. As the Soviet Army withdrew in 1988-89 and the country collapsed into bitter civil war, National Museum of Afghanistan curator Omara Khan Massoudi worked to save some artifacts from pillagers. Burying ancient Bactrian gold and ivory sculptures under the Presidential Palace and the streets of Kabul in 1989, he finally retrieved many the priceless artifacts unscathed 14 years later and presented them to then Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
In the early 20th century, the Ku Klux Klan was responsible for the deaths of thousands of African-Americans, and symbols of the Klan – like the burning cross – inspired terror nationwide. But in 1946, the Klan was dealt a significant blow by a single concerned citizen. Activist and author Stetson Kennedy infiltrated the Klan over a period of months, gathering key information on the group's secret rituals and code words. Kennedy then shared his knowledge with the writers of a Superman radio serial, leading to the broadcast of The Adventures of Superman: "Clan of the Fiery Cross,” which over a two-week period exposed the Klan’s best-kept secrets. By trivializing the Klan, the broadcast helped strip the Klan of its mystique. Over time, the group declined rapidly and only a few thousand members are active today.

 We need a little more compassion, and if we cannot have it then no politician or even a magician can save the planet.

- 14th Dalai Lama (1935-present)

 First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

- Martin Niemöller (1892-1984), German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor, January 6, 1946

 I knew that to really minister to Rwanda's needs meant working toward reconciliation in the prisons, in the churches, and in the cities and villages throughout the country. It meant feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, caring for the young, but it also meant healing the wounded and forgiving the unforgivable.

- John Rucyahana (1945-present), former Rwandan Anglican bishop, The Bishop of Rwanda: Finding Forgiveness Amidst a Pile of Bones, 2007

 Where in this wide world can a person find nobility without pride, friendship without envy or beauty without vanity? Here, where grace is laced with muscle and strength by gentleness confined. He serves without servility, he has fought without enmity. There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent; there is nothing so quick, nothing more patient.

- Ronald Duncan (1914-1982)

 I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies another this right makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it.

- Thomas Paine (1737-1809), English-American political activist, philosopher, and revolutionary, Age of Reason, 1794

 Where they have burned books, they will end in burning human beings.

- Heinrich Heine (1797-1856), German poet, journalist, essayist, and literary critic, Almansor, 1821

 [W]e are all guilty in some Measure of the same narrow way of Thinking... when we fancy the Customs, Dresses, and Manners of other Countries are ridiculous and extravagant, if they do not resemble those of our own.

- Joseph Addison (1672-1719), English essayist, poet, playwright, and politician, 1711

 Compassion is not religious business, it is human business. It is not a luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability. It is essential for human survival.

- 14th Dalai Lama (1935 - present), spiritual leader of Tibet

 Being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.

- John Locke (1632-1704), English philosopher, Second Treatise of Government, 1689

 All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness … the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives.

- 14th Dalai Lama (1935-present)

 Religion must mainly be a matter of principles only. It cannot be a matter of rules. The moment it degenerates into rules, it ceases to be a religion, as it kills responsibility which is an essence of the true religious act.

- Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (1891-1956), Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer

 While differing widely in the various little bits we know, in our infinite ignorance we are all equal.

- Karl Popper (1902-1994), Austrian-British philosopher, Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge, 1963

 How many paths are there to God? There are as many paths to God as there are souls on the Earth.

- Jalaluddin Rumi (1207-1273), 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic

 I have no animosity towards anyone. Whoever displays human dignity, regardless of their religion or faith, I bow my head before them and hold them dear.

- Masoumi Tehrani, senior Iranian cleric

 The love of one's country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?

- Pablo Casals (1876-1973), Spanish cellist, 1974

 There can be only one permanent revolution — a moral one; the regeneration of the inner man. How is this revolution to take place? Nobody knows how it will take place in humanity, but every man feels it clearly in himself. And yet in our world everybody thinks of changing humanity, and nobody thinks of changing himself

- Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), Russian novelist, playwright, and philosopher, 1900

 If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.

- John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), British philosopher, political economist and civil servant, On Liberty, 1859

 Hate. It has caused a lot of problems in this world, but it has not solved one yet.

- Maya Angelou (1928-2014), American poet and author

 If we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.

- Karl Popper (1902-1994), Austrian-British philosopher, The Open Society and its Enemies, 1945

 Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

- Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), American Baptist minister and leader of the American Civil Rights Movement, Strength to Love, 1963

 [Most] can seldom discern even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as obliges them to admit the falsity of conclusions they have formed, perhaps with much difficulty — conclusions of which they are proud, which they have taught to others, and on which they have built their lives.

- Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), Russian novelist, playwright, and philosopher

 The test of faith is whether I can make space for difference. Can I recognize God's image in someone who is not in my image, whose language, faith, ideal, are different from mine? If I cannot, then I have made God in my image instead of allowing him to remake me in his.

- Jonathan Sacks (1948 - present), rabbi, philosopher and scholar of Judaism, The Dignity of Difference, 2002

 From the saintly and single-minded idealist to the fanatic is often but a step.

- Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992), economist and philosopher, 1944

 I am a lover of truth, a worshipper of freedom, a celebrant at the altar of language and purity and tolerance. That is my religion.... My belief in my religion is strong and I know that lies will always fail and indecency and intolerance will always perish.

- Stephen Fry (1957-present), English comedian, actor, writer, presenter, and activist, 1993

 Tolerance is the positive and cordial effort to understand another’s beliefs, practices, and habits without necessarily sharing or accepting them.

- Joshua Loth Liebman (1907-1948), American rabbi and best-selling author, Peace of Mind: Insights on Human Nature That Can Change Your Life, 1946

 At every level of society, familial, tribal, national and international, the key to a happier and more peaceful and successful world is the growth of compassion.

- 14th Dalai Lama (1935-present), The Compassionate Life, 2001

 Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.

- Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and first black president of South Africa

 I think... if it is true that there are as many minds as there are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts.

- Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), Russian novelist, playwright, and philosopher, Anna Karenina, 1877

 How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.

- Anne Frank (1929-1945), author of The Diary of a Young Girl, 1942-1944, March 26, 1944

 If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can make the world safe for diversity.

- John F. Kennedy (1917-1961), 35th President of the United States, Commencement Address at American University, June 10, 1963

 Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every man present his views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955), German-born theoretical physicist, 1940

 I was heartened that people everywhere want certain basic freedoms, even if they live in a totally different cultural environment.

- Aung San Suu Kyi (1945-present), Nobel Peace Prize laureate and leader of the National League for Democracy in Burma, 2012

 Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself.

- Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899), American lawyer, May 8, 1888

 All of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us.... this ‘closing off’ that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God.... And that, simply, is blasphemy.

- Pope Francis (1936-present), May 22, 2013

 And if we want to achieve our goal, then let us empower ourselves with the weapon of knowledge and let us shield ourselves with unity and togetherness.

- Malala Yousafzai (1997-present), Pakistani activist for female education and Nobel Prize laureate, July 12, 2013

 No rational argument will have a rational effect on a man who does not want to adopt a rational attitude.

- Karl Popper (1902-1994), Austrian-British philosopher, The Open Society and its Enemies, 1945

 Injustice, poverty, slavery, ignorance — these may be cured by reform or revolution. But men do not live only by fighting evils. They live by positive goals, individual and collective, a vast variety of them, seldom predictable, at times incompatible.

- Isaiah Berlin (1909-1997), Russo-British Jewish social and political theorist, philosopher and historian, Political Ideas in the Twentieth Century, Foreign Affairs, 1950

 It is thus tolerance that is the source of peace, and intolerance that is the source of disorder and squabbling.

- Pierre Bayle (1647-1706), French philosopher, 1686

 Tolerance and patience should not be read as signs of weakness. They are signs of strength.

- 14th Dalai Lama (1935-present), spiritual leader of Tibet, September 21, 2012

 It is the enemy who can truly teach us to practice the virtues of compassion and tolerance.

- 14th Dalai Lama (1935-present), Ocean of Wisdom: Guidelines for Living, 1989

 The golden rule of conduct... is mutual toleration, seeing that we will never all think alike and we shall always see Truth in fragment and from different angles of vision. Even amongst the most conscientious persons, there will be room enough for honest differences of opinion. The only possible rule of conduct in any civilised society is, therefore, mutual toleration.

- Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948), leader of Indian independence movement, 1927

 Even God doesn't propose to judge a man till his last days, why should you and I?

- Dale Carnegie (1888-1955), American self-help author and lecturer

 I like the religion that teaches liberty, equality and fraternity.

- Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (1891-1956), Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer

 There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance.

- Socrates (469 BC-399 BC), Greek philosopher

 If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.

- Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and first black president of South Africa, Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela, 1995

 It is a worthy thing to fight for one's freedom; it is another sight finer to fight for another man's.

- Mark Twain (1835-1910), American author and humorist, June 17, 1898

 Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person's character lies in their own hands.

- Anne Frank (1929-1945), author of The Diary of a Young Girl, 1942-1944

 I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.

- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), Author of the Declaration of Independence and Third President of the United States,Letter to Archibald Stuart, Philadelphia, December 23, 1791

 It is hardly possible to overrate the value, for the improvement of human beings, of things which bring them into contact with persons dissimilar to themselves and with modes of thought and action unlike those with which they are familiar... It is indispensable to be perpetually comparing [one's] own notions and customs with the experience and example of persons in different circumstances.

- John Stuart Mill (1806-1873), British philosopher, political economist and civil servant, Principles of Political Economy, 1848

 I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

- Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), American Baptist minister and leader of the American Civil Rights Movement, "I Have a Dream", August 28, 1963

 I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the cultures of all lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any. I refuse to live in other people’s houses as an interloper, a beggar or a slave.

- Mahatma Gandhi (1969-1948), leader of Indian independence movement, 1927

 I have striven not to laugh at human actions, not to weep at them, nor to hate them, but to understand them.

- Baruch de Spinoza (1632-1677), Dutch philosopher, Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, 1670

 I keep my ideals, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.

- Anne Frank (1929-1945), author of The Diary of a Young Girl, 1942-1944, entry dated July 15, 1944

 The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.

- W.E.B Dubois (1868-1963), African American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, John Brown, 1909

 You must not treat others with cruelty and that much harshly, you must fight others but through peace and through dialogue and through education.

- Malala Yousafzai (1997-present), Pakistani activist for female education and Nobel Prize laureate, October 10, 2013

 Many of our problems are created by ourselves based on divisions due to ideology, religion, race, resources, economic status or other factors. The time has come to think on a deeper, more human level and appreciate and respect our sameness as human beings.

- 14th Dalai Lama (1935-present), The Compassionate Life, 2001

 We all live with the objective of being happy, our lives are all different and yet the same.

- Anne Frank (1929-1945), author of The Diary of a Young Girl, 1942-1944, entry dated July, 6, 1944

 It is my inmost conviction, Badshah Khan said, that Islam is amal, yakeen, muhabat – selfless service, faith, and love.

- Badshah Khan (1890-1988), Pashtun independence activist

 The scientist is free, and must be free to ask any question, to doubt any assertion, to seek for any evidence, to correct any errors. Our political life is also predicated on openness. We know that the only way to avoid error is to detect it and that the only way to detect it is to be free to inquire. And we know that as long as men are free to ask what they must, free to say what they think, free to think what they will, freedom can never be lost, and science can never regress.

- Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967), American theoretical physicist

 The time must come when, great and pressing as change and betterment may be, they do not involve killing and hurting people.

- W.E.B Dubois (1868-1963), African American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Dark Princess, 1928

 A person is a person because he recognizes others as persons.

- Desmund Tutu (1931-present), South African social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop, September 7, 1986

 Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.

- Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), African-American abolitionist and U.S. minister to Haiti from 1889 to 1891, Speech on the twenty-fourth anniversary of Emancipation in the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C., April 1886

 Christian, Jew, Muslim, shaman, Zoroastrian, stone, ground, mountain, river, each has a secret way of being with the mystery, unique and not to be judged.

- Jalaluddin Rumi (1207-1273), 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, theologian, and Sufi mystic

 We recall our terrible past so that we can deal with it, to forgive where forgiveness is necessary, without forgetting; to ensure that never again will such inhumanity tear us apart; and to move ourselves to eradicate a legacy that lurks dangerously as a threat to our democracy.

- Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and first black president of South Africa, February 25, 1999

 Is discord going to show itself while we are still fighting, is the Jew once again worth less than another? Oh, it is sad, very sad, that once more, for the umpteenth time, the old truth is confirmed: "What one Christian does is his own responsibility, what one Jew does is thrown back at all Jews."

- Anne Frank (1929-1945), author of The Diary of a Young Girl, 1942-1944, entry dated as May 22, 1944

 Whenever you're in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.

- William James (1842-1910), American philosopher and psychologist

 Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live in somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me unless there is peace and joy finally for you too.

- Frederick Buechner (1926-present), American writer and theologian

 WHAT is tolerance? it is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly--that is the first law of nature.

- Voltaire (1694-1778), French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher, 1764

 Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or 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.

- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, December 16, 1966

 If our goal is to be tolerant of people who are different than we are, then we really are aiming quite low. Traffic jams are to be tolerated. People are to be celebrated.

- Glennon Doyle Melton, Carry On, Warrior: Thoughts on Life Unarmed, April 2, 2013

 Human nature is not simple and any classification that roughly divides men into good and bad, superior and inferior, slave and free, is and must be ludicrously untrue and universally dangerous as a permanent exhaustive classification.

- W.E.B Dubois (1868-1963), African American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Evolution of the Race Problem, 1909

 To build a future you have to know the past.

- Otto Frank (1889-1980), Holocaust survivor who was a German-born businessman and father of Anne and Margot Frank, 1967

 My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.

- Thomas Paine (1737-1809), English-American political activist, philosopher, and revolutionary, The Rights of Man, 1791

 A human being is a part of the whole, called by us "Universe," a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. The striving to free oneself from this delusion is the one issue of true religion. Not to nourish it but to try to overcome it is the way to reach the attainable measure of peace of mind.

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955), German-born theoretical physicist, 1950

 More dangerous than bayonets and cannon are the weapons of the mind.

- Ludwig Van Mises (1881-1973), leader of the Austrian School of economic thought, Liberalism, 1927

 Each person must live their life as a model for others.

- Rosa Parks (1913-2005), African-American civil rights activist

 I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities.

- Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and first black president of South Africa, I am Prepared to Die, Statement in the Rivonia Trial, Pretoria Supreme Court, April 20, 1964

 Freedom of judgment must necessarily be permitted and people must be governed in such a way that they can live in harmony, even though they openly hold different and contradictory opinions.

- Baruch de Spinoza (1632-1677), Dutch philosopher, Tractatus Theologico-Politicus, 1670

 I respect Muslims, Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, Buddhists, Bahá’ís, etc., even non-believers who believe in the principles of humanity. I love them dearly and kiss the hands of each and every one of them.

- Masoumi Tehrani, senior Iranian cleric

 We call upon all communities to be tolerant, to reject prejudice based on caste, creed, sect, colour, religion or agenda to ensure freedom and equality for women so they can flourish. We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back.

- Malala Yousafzai (1997-present), Pakistani activist for female education and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, July 12, 2013

 I truly believe the only way we can create global peace is through not only educating our minds, but our hearts and our souls.

- Malala Yousafzai (1997-present), Pakistani activist for female education and Nobel Prize laureate, September 3, 2013

 No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.

- Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and first black president of South Africa, Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela, 1995

 I believe we are here on the planet Earth to live, grow up and do what we can to make this world a better place for all people to enjoy freedom.

- Rosa Parks (1913-2005), African-American civil rights activist

 The open society is one in which men have learned to be to some extent critical of taboos, and to base decisions on the authority of their own intelligence.

- Karl Popper (1902-1994), Austrian-British philosopher, The Open Society and its Enemies, 1945

 God's dream is that you and I and all of us will realize that we are family, that we are made for togetherness, for goodness, and for compassion.

- Desmond Tutu (1931-present), South African social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop, April 26, 2005

 For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.

- Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and first black president of South Africa,Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela, 1995

 There's in people simply an urge to destroy, an urge to kill, to murder and rage, and until all mankind, without exception, undergoes a great change, wars will be waged, everything that has been built up, cultivated, and grown will be destroyed and disfigured, after which mankind will have to begin all over again.

- Anne Frank (1929-1945), author of The Diary of a Young Girl, 1942-1944, entry dated May 3, 1944

 He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty, he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.

- Thomas Paine (1737-1809), English-American political activist, philosopher, and revolutionary, Dissertation on First Principles of Government, July 1795

 Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), German Lutheran pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi dissident, 1995

 No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion.

- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), Author of the Declaration of Independence and Third President of the United States, Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom, 1786

 Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one's own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.

- John F. Kennedy (1917-1963), 35th President of the United States, October 10, 1960

 We must plan for freedom, and not only for security, if for no other reason than only freedom can make security more secure.

- Karl Popper (1902-1994), Austrian-British philosopher, The Open Society and its Enemies, 1945

 To deny any person their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.

- Nelson Mandela (1918-2013), South African anti-apartheid revolutionary and first black president of South Africa, June 27, 1990

 I can imagine nothing more terrifying than an Eternity filled with men who were all the same. The only thing which has made life bearable…has been the diversity of creatures on the surface of the globe.

- T. H. White (1906-1964), English author

 Anger and intolerance are the twin enemies of correct understanding.

- Mahatma Gandhi (1969-1948), leader of Indian independence movement

 You may choose to look the other way but you can never again say you did not know.

- William Wilberforce (1759-1833), English abolitionist, 1791

 The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.

- Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), African-American abolitionist and U.S. minister to Haiti from 1889 to 1891, Speech on the twenty-fourth anniversary of Emancipation in the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C., April 1885

 Tolerance implies a respect for another person, not because he is wrong or even because he is right, but because he is human.

- John Cogley (1916-1976), author of Religion in a Secular Age, 1968

 I don't believe in charity. I believe in solidarity. Charity is vertical, so it's humiliating. It goes from the top to the bottom. Solidarity is horizontal. It respects the other and learns from the other. I have a lot to learn from other people.

- Eduardo Galeano (1940-present), Uruguyan journalist, writer, and novelist, 2004

 Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.

- Mahatma Gandhi (1969-1948), leader of Indian independence movement

 We all know we are unique individuals, but we tend to see others as representatives of groups.

- Deborah Tannen (1945-present), linguist and author, You Just Don't Understand, 1990

 I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.

- Socrates (469 BC-399 BC), Greek philosopher

 We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.

- Karl Popper (1902-1994), Austrian-British philosopher, The Open Society and its Enemies, 1945

 Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.

- Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), American Baptist minister and leader of the American Civil Rights Movement, Loving Your Enemies, 1957

 I believe in God who made of one blood all races that dwell on earth. I believe that all men, black and brown and white, are brothers, varying through Time and Opportunity, in form and gift and feature, but differing in no essential particular, and alike in soul and in the possibility of infinite development.

- W.E.B Dubois (1868-1963), African American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil, 1920

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About Tavaana

Tavaana: E-Learning Institute for Iranian Civil Society is Iran’s pioneer e-learning institute. Tavaana – meaning ‘empowered’ and ‘capable’ in Persian – was launched on May 17, 2010 with a mission to support active citizenship and civic leadership in Iran through a multi-platform civic education and civil society capacity building program. Tavaana holds a vision for a free and open Iranian society, one in which each and every Iranian enjoys equality, justice and the full spectrum of civil and political liberties.

About The Tolerance Project

The Tolerance Project aims to inspire conscience, pluralism, religious freedom, and celebration of difference. Using an array of educational materials in Arabic, Persian, and English, The Tolerance Project emphasizes the capacity of each and every individual to counter hate, and imparts the benefits of living in tolerant, open societies. The Tolerance Project educates to prevent persecution and genocide, cultivating the basis for vibrant and stable societies in the broader Middle East.

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