Apostasy is defined as a departure from one’s religion, principles, party, cause, etc.
From the organization’s title, one might assume that the principles guiding this initiative relates to atheism, but nothing could be further from the truth. Simply put, the goal of Freedom of Apostasy (FoA) is to promote the fair and humane treatement of those who exercise their inalienable right to freedom of belief, namely, with regard to their disconnect from a specific tenent of a religion, a specific religion, or from all religion entirely.
It is the belief of FoA’s founder, supporters, and benefactors, that persecution of religious apostates only serves to broaden the disconnect between the heart & soul of a person and their relation with the spirit world. That through the application of an ‘all or nothing’ adherance mandate, a person whose sensibilities would otherwise lend toward other forms of worship will simply withdraw completely from religion rather than research, refine, and regain a connection with the other realm that would serve to greatly enhance their lives and potentially the lives of those around them.
Indeed, texts from each of the world’s major religions maintain the premise that belief is an individual decision and that there should not be compulsion in religion. Yet, despite this unilateral agreement among each of the founders of world’s major religions, there remains wide spread and even government sanctioned persecution of apostates. Compulsion in religion is not merely a measure to garner converts to a specific religion. Where an apostate is subjected to being disowned by family, denied rights and services, beatings, rape, torture, and even murder as measures to prevent or punish apostasy, compulsion has most assuredly occured. When rights and services are denied by governing bodies based solely on apostasy, human rights have been violated. When the rape, torture, beating, false imprisonment, or murder of apostates occur by (or with the apathetic knowledge of) governing bodies, then crimes against humanity have occured.
FoA’s main objectives are twofold: First, to promote awareness with regard to the persecution of apostates; and second to pressure world governments to affect a United Nations resolution calling for the recognition of the wide spread violations of Article 18 (see below) of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights . Further, that where a government allows or participates in crimes against humanity directed against apostates, that sanctions be established and enforced against the offending country until such time as the perpetrators cease engaging in such atrocities.
Article 18. of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
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