Churches

(European Ch. and Human Rights)

DEF: For the Christian Churches the idea of independent human rights was initially a challenge (Rivers 2007). Human rights were perceived as an anthropocentric rival ethics born out of the anticlerical (especially anti-Catholic) impulse of the Enlightenment and French Revolution. In particular, the human right of freedom of religion was perceived as a threat by traditional Churches inasmuch as it strengthened the status of minority religions [e.g. KOKKINAKIS v. GREECE, 1993]. Historically, Protestant Churches were more open to human rights than the Catholic Church, which accepted HR only in the 1965 Second Vatican Council (Glendon 2001), and the Orthodox Churches, which are still in the process of defining ...

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