Welcome to LaRI. This website promotes freedom of religion and belief, a basic human right. As a global community, we share this planet with others, and LaRI promotes respect for the rights of each individual’s spiritual beliefs.
As you browse the resources on this website, you may conclude that there are adequate laws that protect religious freedom. However, the modern world introduces new challenges to religious tolerance. Namely the Internet has created opportunities to promote religious hatred, with little accountability.
In civilized societies, laws prevent individuals from carrying out acts of religious intolerance in the forms of overt violence or discrimination. Some statistics provide compelling evidence that civilized societies embrace religious tolerance. However, this is due in part to a change in the nature of religious intolerance.
Those wishing to engage in religious hatred have moved to new frontiers, taking advantage of the anonymity and lawlessness of the digital world. When hatred is promoted across borders, in cyber domains, the international aspect of these crimes makes it difficult and often impossible for victims to seek justice, though the impact of these crimes is very serious.
In other places within society, laws are often effective in reducing discriminatory practices in public areas of life, such as employment and education. However, just as “modern racism” emerged in response to legal constraints on racial discrimination, religious intolerance reveals itself in modern forms throughout public life, supported by cultural norms.
The requirements for achieving religious tolerance have changed. We must educate ourselves on the modern forms of religious intolerance and demand legal instruments that meet these new challenges. We encourage international reflection, dialogue, and action to ensure the rights to religious freedom of each individual in this global community are guaranteed.
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