The UDHR was in fact, a compromise statement negotiated over two years between countries such as the UK which had a long heritage of human rights and those such as China, USSR and Islamic countries which did not. For example, during the negotiations the UK government submitted a draft text including the freedom: “to endeavour to persuade other persons of full age and sound mind of the truth of his beliefs”. However, this was rejected by a number of Islamic countries. Consequently, this and other aspects of freedom of religion, whose importance had for centuries been recognised in British constitutional history, never made it into the text of either the UDHR or ECHR.
Dr Martin Parsons
West Mersea, Essex