From Solidarity to Freedom

Jonathan Luxmoore

in The Future of Religious Freedom

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199930890
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980581 | DOI:
From Solidarity to Freedom

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This chapter examines the issues and challenges still facing churches and religious associations in Eastern and Central Europe more than two decades after the overthrow of communist rule, and it looks at the lessons learned in the intervening period for the protection of religious freedom in emerging democracies. While some problems were inherited from the communist era and are common throughout the region, others have emerged under the impact of post-communist democratisation and pluralisation, and are specific to particular countries. The creation of stable institutions, backed by the rule of law and freedom of speech, gave a great boost to religious rights in this era. But the quest remains for an appropriate and dependable balance between the sacred and secular spheres, and between the often competing interests of state and individual, as illustrated by the chapter's comparative case studies in areas from church property rights and fiscal privileges to education and abortion.

Keywords: Eastern Europe; Poland; Russia; Communism; post-communist states; churches; Christianity; religious minorities; religious rights; democracy

Chapter.  10154 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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