02 February 2015
In a religiously and ethnically diverse region such as Asean, there is a close connection between religious freedom and peace and security. Conversely, persecution and violations of religious freedom raise the risk of conflict that can threaten national and regional security, a new study shows.
Religious conflict is “a conflict that will affect the entire society”, said Dr Jaclyn Neo of National University of Singapore, the lead author of “Keeping the Faith: A Study of Freedom of Thought, Conscience, and Religion in Asean”. The report was based on research covering all 10 Asean member states by the Human Rights Resource Centre based on the Depot campus of the University of Indonesia in West Java.
Article 22 of the Asean Human Rights Declaration states that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion and it ensures elimination of all forms of intolerance of hatred based on religion and belief. Those pledges adopted by all member states have been tested from time to time, most notably in Myanmar today.
…Ong Keng Yong, a scholar from Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said the results of the study should be interpreted in the context of appreciation for Asean’s diversity as a regional grouping. Many changes have taken place in the area of human rights protection and promotion in the region, he said, and contrary to widely held perceptions, this shows that human rights remains a core issue in the bloc.
IDSS / RSIS / Online
Last updated on 01/12/2015