ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Human Right to Apostate

Updated on December 9, 2009

 It is written in the United  Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights, :

 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.

Please note the right to "freedom to change his religion or belief". This is a right for anyone. It doesn't matter if his parents have tried to make him a Christian, a Muslim or a this or that; if his conviction is another, it is his right not to be regarded as Christian or Muslim or whatever.

Please note the the right encompasses not only religion but also belief in general. Secular atheism is included, as well as non-theistic ways of life normally labelled as religions, for example Buddhism.

Please note that it does not include the right to mission, to proselytize, to force others to change their conviction, to respect the conscience of another less than one's own.

Please note that this right does not make the slightest difference between monotheists, polytheists and atheists.

And please not that whoever changes his "religion or belief" will perhaps be hailed as a convert by some, but the convert of some is always the apostate of others.

So apostasy is a basic human right.

According to tradition, both Abraham and Muhammad were brought up in a polytheistic religion but became monotheists; so to the polytheists, Abraham and Muhammed were apostates.

Already because of that, therefore, their followers will not encourage others to follow Abraham's or Muhammad's example if they try to force other people also to be, and to remain, their followers.

At the present point in history, the main culprits in this respect seem to be some Muslims; but Christians have been no better in the past. In my own country, Sweden, it happened as late as 1860 that some ladies were sentenced to forced exile because they had left the Lutheran State Church and converted to Catholicism, thus becoming converts to the Catholics and apostates to the Lutherans.
Shortly afterwards, the laws were changed, but for ninety more years it was possible to leave the state church only if immediately joining another Christian community; which meant that many honest Christians left the church, while every honest atheist had to remain a member...

I am an apostate myself. My parents tried to make me a good Christian, but failed; it turned out my deepest conviction is another, and that's it. To do them justice, they never threatened me in any way.

Other apostates/converts, including some friends of mine, are less lucky.

Be it very clear, however, that any law that forbids someone to leave one religious fold to enter another, or none, is violating this human right, and therefore invalid, regardless in which country it has been passed and which religions or philosophies are concerned.


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)