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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The constitutional protection of religious human rights in southern Africa
Authors:Heyns, ChristofISNI
Brand, Danie
Periodical:The Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa
Geographic term:Southern Africa
Subject:freedom of religion
Abstract:In accordance with the dual needs of being left alone and of engagement, two issues dominate discussions of the role of the State in respect to religious human rights: to what extent the State may interfere with religious convictions and practices; and to what extent the State may endorse or support religion. Referring to these issues, this article gives an overview of the positive law regarding religious rights in the SADC countries, focusing on constitutional provisions and with references to legislation, national court decisions, and the role of international law. The countries dealt with in some detail are: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Religious human rights enjoy a relatively high level of protection in southern Africa. Most of the States could be described as semi-secular, with the possible exception of Zambia. Freedom of religion is protected, but the State is generally authorized to provide support for religion, as long as it is not on a discriminatory basis. If religious liberty constitutes the fundamental basis upon which human rights law in general developed, the wide level of recognition which religious human rights seem to enjoy on at least the formal, constitutional level holds out encouraging prospects for the future of human rights protection in southern Africa. Notes, ref.