Religious liberty has been an integral part of the OSCE process. From the Helsinki Final Act, to the Vienna and Copenhagen Concluding Documents, the OSCE participating States have affirmed time and time again that religious liberty is a fundamental human right. The freedom to profess and practice a religion alone or in community, the freedom to meet with and exchange information with co-religionists regardless of frontiers, the freedom to freely present to others and discuss your religious views, and the freedom to change one’s religion have all been enshrined in the OSCE documents. Participating States have also committed to eliminating and preventing discrimination based on religious grounds in all fields of civil, political, economic, social and cultural life. Noninterference in the affairs of religious communities, such as selection of personnel, is also central to the OSCE understanding of religious liberty. Religious education in any language is protected along with the right for parents to ensure religious education of their children in line with their own convictions. Participating States have also pledged to allow the training of religious personnel in appropriate institutions.
This document features excerpts of the religious liberty commitments entered into by the participating States to the OSCE. Decisions of OSCE participating States are adopted by consensus and are politically binding on all of the participating States. Resolutions of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly are adopted by majority vote of the Members of Parliament participating in the annual meeting.