«In a world where societies are more and more diverse, tolerance is more likely to flourish when the human rights of all religious groups are respected and, similarly, human rights can thrive only if different groups are treated in the same way.»

H.E. Adama Dieng The United Nations Under-Secretary General, Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General on Prevention of Genocide


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26 September 2023

The International Association for the Defense of Religious Liberty (AIDLR) is indelibly and honorably connected to the date, circumstances, context, and spirit of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the late 1940s. During those years, the founder of AIDLR, Jean Nussbaum, met the First Lady of the United States, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt. Both expressed a shared dream and desire to place human rights, including those of religious freedom, at the center of recognition and achievements for human dignity. It was this common interest and desire that led Jean Nussbaum to invite Eleanor Roosevelt to be the First President of the Honorary Committee of AIDLR, founded in 1946. Since then, AIDLR has served as an advocate and promoter of the rights of freedom of conscience, worship, and religion, fulfilling the purpose of interacting and cooperating with political, academic, religious, diplomatic, cultural, social, and other agents through its publication "Conscience and Liberty," summits, conferences, meetings, sponsorship of projects, programs, and activities.

AIDLR considers the values expressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as central elements of its foundations and statement of principles. On this date of December 10, 2023, AIDLR celebrates the anniversary of the appearance of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which explicitly and positively recognizes rights related to religious freedom, guiding documents, agents, and actions for the defense and promotion of religious freedom since then. We join the United Nations in its official celebrations and join our national sections and their leaders in their commemorative initiatives.

In celebrating the signing of this document that initiated a new era of identification and respect for human rights, AIDLR also acknowledges and recalls Article 19 of the same Declaration, concerning rights related to freedom of expression, fundamental for both human dignity and the realization of conditions for religious freedom. Celebrating this document and with a focus on discussing and reflecting on the themes connecting religious freedom and freedom of expression, AIDLR organized this year the International Conference "Religion and Freedom of Expression," the interventions and results of which were published in the special edition of the magazine "Conscience and Liberty 2023," launched in commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights.

AIDLR undertakes the commitment to defend and promote human rights, particularly ensuring the defense and promotion of the conscience, worship, and religion of every human being.

Brussels, December 10, 2023
Paulo Macedo


Article 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.

< Article 19

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.