Religious Freedoms In Republic Of Macedonia

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Abstract

With the independence of Republic of Macedonia and the adoption of the Constitution of Macedonia, the country went through a substantial socio-political transition. The concept of human rights and freedoms, such as religious freedoms in the Macedonian Constitution is based on liberal democratic values. The Macedonian Constitution connects the fundamental human rights and freedoms with the concept of the individual and citizen, but also with the collective rights of ethnic minorities, respecting the international standards and responsibilities taken under numerous international human rights conventions and treaties, of which the country is a party. Republic of Macedonia has ratified all the so called “core human right treaties” and now the real challenge lies in the implementation of the international standards. Some of these international conventions and treaties of the United Nations and of the Council of Europe are inherited by succession from the former Yugoslavian federation. Religious freedoms are guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of human rights (1948), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), the European Convention on Human Rights (1953), the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief (1981) (all documents ratified by the Republic of Macedonia). According to the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia “The freedom of religious confession is guaranteed. The right to express one's faith freely and publicly, individually or with others, is guaranteed„. After the conflict of 2001 the Ohrid Framework Agreement secured group rights for ethnicities that are not in majority in the Republic of Macedonia. The present Law on the legal status of the church, religious communities and religious groups of 2007, repealed the Law on religion and religious groups of 1997.

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