The internal crisis of religious freedom


  • Rik Torfs


Religious freedom, limitations, definition, human rights, freedom, hostility towards religion


Today, unlike in the past, religious freedom is often interpreted in a narrow way. Yet, three deeper issues also influence the position of religion in current legal thinking. Firstly, human rights are interpreted less formally than they used to be in the past. Secondly, the notion of freedom finds itself more restricted than in previous times. Finally, religion is often rejected by society, which affects its protection. Indeed what about religious freedom in an environment hostile to religion?

Author Biography

Rik Torfs

Rik Torfs studied law and canon law at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. He has been professor at the Faculty of Canon Law since 1988 and visiting professor in Strasbourg and Stellenbosch. He was for many years a member of the editorial board of the Revue de Droit Canonique (RDC) and a Member of the Board of Directors of the European Consortium for State-Church Research. He is a columnist for the Belgian newspaper De Standaard. Since 2010 he has been a member of the Belgian Parliament and senator for the Christian Democrat Party.