The constitution defines freedom of religion as the right to freely practice religion. Every citizen should choose their religion without interference from the state. During the colonial era an act that blocked Catholics from attending churches was passed. The practice of Catholicism was considered an illegal. The journey to achieving religious freedom has been long and challenging.
The major roadblock to freedom of worship is the separation of religious groups in the struggle. Religion has been separated to Christianity, Islam and ‘other religions’, every group fights for their freedom independently. Restrictions on religion have slowed down the progress an example is when Muslims in china were asked to sign a pledge preventing them from wearing their religious attire. Judgments on religious cases have been slow; judges find it difficult to solve the cases as some religions have their own laws (Oaks, 2015).
Challenges of the freedom of religion have increased in time. Some civil societies are against religion. To date American Civil Liberties Union has argued that religion should not be a public debate. The argument that religious pluralism can result to society crisis is another challenge. Terrorist’s attacks have defamed certain religions. There have been killings in places of worship an example is the 2010 shooting at cathedral in Bangladesh. Controversial laws passed by the government been a challenge (Oaks, 2015). The religious groups are opposed to some of the laws passed by the U.S senate. Intimidation has affected religious freedom; religious groups are left to communicate to small groups. Negative media reports that tend to demonize certain religions have slowed down religion freedom.
Conclusively, religion builds a community. To fully achieve religious freedom the government and religious leaders will have to cooperate to defend the right. Religious restrictions should be revised.
Oaks, D. (2015). Challenges to Religious Freedom. Salt Lake City: Global Newsroom International.