CSW - everyone free to believe


General briefing: Laos

24 Oct 2018

The Lao constitution guarantees citizens the right to ‘believe or not to believe in religions’ (Article 43). However, state protection is limited to undefined ‘lawful activities’ by Buddhists and followers of other religions, and ‘all acts of creating division between religions and classes of people are prohibited’ (Article 9). There is no further clarification of the terms ‘creating division’ and ‘lawful activities’. Ambiguous terms, bureaucratic obstacles to registration and weak rule of law combine to undermine freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) for Laos’ religious minorities, including Catholics, Protestants, Muslims and Baha’is. FoRB violations in Laos often go unnoticed by the international community.

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#2 CSW manifesto

We believe no one should suffer discrimination, harassment or persecution because of their beliefs