Estonia joined by over 20 countries on religious freedom declaration

Foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa).
Foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa). Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Foreign ministers of over 20 countries nationwide have adopted an Estonia-initiated declaration on safe places of worship, focusing on religious communities in conflict areas.

"Estonia has been a very active participant in the alliance's work and the Declaration on Safe Places of Worship adopted at the meeting is among the first results of our activities," said foreign minister Urmas Reinsalu (Isamaa) Tuesday, via ministry spokespersons and referring to an International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance (IRFBA) online meeting.

"The declaration is a response to conflicts, especially those related to totalitarian and extreme ideologies, which puts religious communities in a particularly vulnerable situation," Reinsalu continued.

"We must continue international efforts to protect these communities and ensure the protection of their human rights," he added.

Estonia is among the 27 IRBFA founding states of the, established on February 5, 2020 in Washington. The alliance aims to improve cooperation and coordination in protecting the freedom of religion or belief. The IRBFA countries' ministers meet annually on a rotational basis.

The declaration's full text is here.

While Estonia's populace has according to some surveys among the lowest incidences of belief in a deity in Europe, the country has no state church or national religion as such, meaning that relative freedom to engage in whichever belief or non-belief an individual wants is much higher than in many other lands.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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