The Freedom of Religion and its Limits in Greece and the Netherlands: A Comparative Approach

Master's Thesis, 2009

58 Pages, Grade: 7/10



1. Introduction

2. Fundamental rights as a general notion

3. Limits of fundamental rights

4. The importance of religious freedom

5. The freedom of religion in the Netherlands
5.1 The development of religious freedom in the Constitution of the Netherlands
5.2 The structure of freedom of religion in the Constitution of the Netherlands
5.3 Religious freedom in other constitutional provisions

6. The freedom of religion in Greece
6.1 The development of religious freedom in the Constitution of Greece
6.2 The structure of freedom of religion in the Constitution of Greece
6.3 Religious freedom in other constitutional articles

7. The position of ECHR towards religious freedom
7.1 ECHR case-law of the Netherlands
7.2 ECHR case-law of Greece

8. Comparison of the Constitutions

9. Concluding remarks


1. Introduction

In the beginning of the 21st century with the whole globalization procedure going on, fundamental rights need to be protected more than ever. The signification of globalization is difficult to be defined; in social terms globalization has as a result the increase of mobility by people, most of the time with different social and cultural backgrounds. Discriminatory behaviors and conflicts have been caused and are caused based on those diversities and usually have cultural minorities as victims.1 For example Christian and other religious minorities face discriminatory behavior in Turkey2 although all religions are equally protected in the Constitution.2 A main cultural disparity that characterizes the intellectual realm of people is religion. Under those conditions, the call for protection of basic human rights becomes more imperative; especially for particular ones which pertain to the people’s personality like the right to religious freedom.

The protection mentioned above can be found in both international legal conventions, hierarchically superior that all Member States shall comply with and internal legal norms. In an international level the major treaty is the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)3 adopted by 48 States nowadays with legally binding effects. Besides that, protection of human rights can be found in United Nations (UN) texts as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights signed in 1948. Plus in European Union (EU) level, fundamental rights are protected in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union which is in harmony with the above mentioned UN Declaration. Religious freedom is absolutely guaranteed in all those legal documents; article 9 of the ECHR, article 18 of the UN Universal Declaration and article 10 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights refer to that freedom.5 Furthermore in the field of freedom of religion specific UN Declarations exist as the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief (1981) and the Oslo Declaration on Freedom of Religion or Belief (1998) which was an affirmation and confirmation of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights.6

In an internal level fundamental human rights fortification can be primarily seen in the

Constitution. It is generally expressed that the Constitution is more than a legal text; it contains the beliefs of a particular society. Basic priority of all Constitutions in democratic liberal countries is the protection of fundamental civil rights and civil liberties; usually chapter 1 or chapter 2 is entitled as “fundamental rights”. Mechanisms found in the Constitution are the key to secure fundamental rights.7 In that sense the Constitution plays a significant role not only in the protection but also in the application of fundamental rights in practice; it is the guardian of fundamental rights.

As all EU, UN and Council of Europe Member States Constitutions explicitly protect the right of religious freedom and the rights that derive from it (right of religious conscience, right of free exercise of religion) and must comply with all international treaties in that level, it will be interesting to compare relevant articles of the Constitution of a strictly related to one religion, the Orthodox Christian, country, like Greece where the majority (over 95 per cent)8 of the population are Christian Orthodox, with those of a more multicultural society and as a result more liberal in this matter, like the Netherlands. Both countries have as a common starting point the membership in the same international organizations and as result the acceptance of the provisions related to religious freedom in the relevant legal texts, therefore the interest is focused on the Constitutions.

Because of historical reasons, the Orthodox Church plays a very significant role in Greek society. From the time of the Greek Revolution at 1821 against the Ottoman Empire, the Orthodox Church was a determinant actor in the development of national identity of the

Greek.9 As a result, the relations between the State and the Church became inextricable; to this very date they are not separated. This State Church system does not violate religious freedom as long as safeguards for the individual’s religious freedom exist so no one is obliged to follow the State Church.10 That fact can easily be proven from article 3 of the Greek Constitution which directly refers to Orthodox Church as prevalent among the other recognized religions. The direct constitutional recognition of an official religion is a phenomenon quite unique in the constitutional order of an EU Member State.11 Nevertheless, it is generally believed that article 3 is nothing more than a statistic measure and does not affect a fundamental human right like that of the religious freedom which evidently is cited in the Constitution of Greece.

On the other hand, the Netherlands is considered to be one of the most liberal (in social terms) countries in Europe. People from different nations with different cultural backgrounds coexist within the same country enjoying all civil rights and civil liberties. From

1815 the Constitution of the Netherlands developed the idea of separation between State and Church.12 Under those circumstances, the Dutch Constitution approaches the right to religious freedom in a quite dissimilar way; a major difference that can be mentioned is the inexistence of constitutional provision concerning the relationship between the State and the Church.13

Generally speaking, there are limits in protection of a fundamental right in constitutional level. The right to religious freedom is not an exception to the rule. Those limits that the Constitutions of Greece and the Netherlands set will be also examined and compared as part of the whole concept concerning the right to religious freedom.

The aim of this paper will be to find out the similarities and differences concerning the protection of the right of religious freedom and its limits in Greek and Dutch legal order through the interpretation of the relevant constitutional rules. Various conclusions about the similarities and the differences will be drawn. After underlying the differences, a brief explanation of their existence will follow. Plus, it will be useful to understand which the position of the European Court of Human Rights is on this matter by analysing case law and 9K. Paparrigopoulos (-P. Karolidis), “History of the Hellenic Nation”, Volume VI, Eleftheroudakis, 1925 (in Greek).

as a result realize the theoretical framework of the right to religious freedom in those two legal systems from an international perspective of an international court specialized in human rights.

2. Fundamental rights as a general notion

First of all it will be wise to refer to the concept of a fundamental right and to search for the elements that a fundamental right consists of. As a general truth, every human being has born free; this freedom is expressed in many different ways with most important examples being the freedom of thought, freedom of expression, freedom of speech, freedom of belief. The above mentioned, among others, undisputed freedoms can be characterized as fundamental rights in a democratically organized form of state, where the rule of law prevails. In order to be characterized as such, the State shall grant them to the people and also guarantee their correct application and as result limit its authority.

Hence, the fundamental rights were established within the legal system. The establishment of the fundamental rights is accomplished through the Constitution. In one of the definition of what a constitution is14, the relationship between the governmental institution and people is included, with the assurance of the fundamental rights on behalf of the first to the right of the second. In the Constitution of every State the first or second chapter is usually dedicated to the protection of fundamental rights; a fact that demonstrates the significance of those rights within the society.

Although the concept of the fundamental rights remains consistent through the years, the list of those rights as it is expressed in the Constitution changes. Rights that were considered to be important within a particular society in a particular moment in history may not be of that importance now due to major changes of social and political values.15 Most of the times new rights arise with the most important of them to be the protection of collection and use of personal data16 which need to be protected because of the technological revolution and the access to all data as an aftermath.17 As an outcome there is a variance of rights which have the status “fundamental” depending on the perception of each society as it is reflected to the Constitution of the State.

In any case and period the role of fundamental rights remains the same; fundamental rights change the subject “peoples of the State” to “citizens”.18 In that sense people can challenge State’s authority anytime when a fundamental right has been violated. Therefore, the existence of those rights limits the power of the State. They dictate to what extent the authority of the State can be; what the State is allowed to do and what not. This concept is inextricably connected with the general notion of democracy. Democracy cannot be defined

without the recognition of freedom of expression, right to education, right to form associations etc., without the absolute respect of fundamental rights19, with the perfect example to be what is called “political fundamental rights” that are directly related to People sovereignty which is the foundation of the Government of the State.20 For that reason in case of non protection of fundamental human rights the form of government cannot be characterized as democratic.

In practice fundamental human rights attained full growth in an international level after the end of World War II. By that time the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights were adopted as a reaction to atrocities that this war had caused. In its first form the Convention was focused on major civil and political rights with this catalog of rights to be expanded through the years with the adoption of several additional protocols. The perception of all States that signed the Convention was to entrench fundamental rights in one legal act hierarchically superior to national law. It is of highest importance that for the first time in an international level fundamental human rights are not just general expressions or guidelines; their observance on behalf of the States is monitored by a judicial body, the European Court of Human Rights.

3. Limits of fundamental rights

Human Rights”, Polity Press, 1999, chapter 5.

Each and every of the fundamental rights has a specific content. In that sense they exist within the framework of this content. Therefore, logically thinking, fundamental rights are not just general and general notions, they have limits. Furthermore, fundamental rights sometimes are limited because of practical, social reasons; for matters of harmonious co- existence of people within society. In this part, a brief analysis of the purport of limits of fundamental rights will be attempted as they constitute an important conceptual part of the complete notion of fundamental rights.

As stated above, limits in fundamental rights may be categorized as those that inhere in the concept of fundamental rights and those that are necessitated for social reasons.

According to the social perception that is reflected in the Constitution, limits are set on it and become inextricable part of the concept of any particular fundamental right. Therefore as restrictions are parts of the concept of each right, they essentially define this right. The freedom of expression, the freedom of religion, the freedom of property, etc. are guaranteed in the Constitution but the protections of those rights stops when there is for example no religion but just a philosophical idea or there is no expression according to the constitutional definition.21 In some other cases the Constitution itself specifies the fundamental right that is guaranteed from a general notion. The Greek Constitution entrench the right of assembly but not generally, only peaceably and unarmed,22 thus the right of assembly is not fully recognized in Greece but only under the conditions set by and in the Constitution that specialize and establish a fundamental right.23

Restrictions in a fundamental right can only be prescribed in the Constitution; no other legal act is competent of limiting the scope of fundamental rights, unless this power is delegated by the Constitution directly24 or indirectly.25 In addition whenever the Constitution confines those rights it is explicitly mentioned in its provisions, therefore interpretations that lead to limitation of fundamental rights are totally anti constitutional and as a result against general democratic principles.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

An important part playing a major role in the development of the limits within a right

is the State. As it is mentioned above, constitutions entrench basic rights to limit the power of the State and protect people against the abuse of power but as long as the constitution is related to the State, the concept of fundamental rights and its limits are also dependent on the State. A perfect example could be article 47 of the 1936 USSR Constitution (as it was amended in 1977) which guarantees the freedom of scientific, technical and artistic works only in accordance with the aim of building communism. Of course it is clear that fundamental rights that exist in constitution of liberal democratic states are completely absent like the freedom of property. Another example could be article 16 (5) of the Greek Constitution which cites that education at university level is provided exclusively by fully self-governed public corporate institutions. Therefore, private universities are not recognized by the Constitution and as a result, by the State. It is usually the case that a constitution is revised from official institutions of the State, hence this practically leads to the reinforcement of the relation of the Constitution with the State.

The second category of fundamental rights restrictions is not directly set by the Constitution as a form of restriction but is dictated for social reasons. Starting with the general observation that people need to co-exist and co-operate for the promotion of the society, it is quite important for a certain balance among human relationship to be secured. Therefore the appeal to fundamental rights shall not be abusive or improper.

The German Constitution refers to this social restriction of fundamental rights in article 28 (1). In this article the “social state under the rule of law” is mentioned. In that sense the Constitution guarantees fundamental rights to people individually but at the same time those rights are restricted as all people are part of the society and interact to each other. The same principle of welfare state is formulated in the Greek Constitution. Article 25 (1) mentions that the State guarantees this welfare state and plus paragraph 4 of article 25 is referred to the right of the State “to claim of all citizens to fulfill the duty of social and national solidarity”.26

The improper or abusive use of fundamental rights is not allocated in the Constitution. In that sense, as fundamental rights astrict “the legislature, the executive and the judiciary as directly applicable law”27 any proper and improper use must be rated by taking into consideration the specific case and the general notion of the fundamental right.

As a result to the above, every citizen is protected from the abuse of the State power and shall apply fundamental rights but only if this application is not disrupting the balance within society, is not affecting, in a negative way or harming the development of the social state, is not used in an abusive way. The inference is that “the social state under the rule of law” plays a significant part in the constitutional order of the states and therefore takes precedence over fundamental rights. This does not imply that those general “social restrictions” can abolish or reduce fundamental rights. For example the term “moral principles” in religion which is related to general social perception and is used in

Constitutions28 shall not be interpreted in a way that makes religious freedom or the right to worship practically impossible.

4. The importance of religious freedom

As it is explicitly mentioned in the introduction, this paper will focus on a specific fundamental right, the freedom of religion. At that point it would be interesting to understand why this fundamental right is so important and must be protected in a constitutional level.

First of all, according to the semantic content of “freedom of religion”, this fundamental right refers to religion. The definition of religion is hard to be given; furthermore, the most recognized Court as competent in human rights issues has not given, up to now, in its case-law, any specific definition of what it is religion and what is not.29

Nevertheless, the Court has underlined in various cases the importance of religious freedom. In Kokkinakis vs. Greece 30, in Buscarini and Others vs. San Marino 31 and in van Schijndel, van der Heyden and Leenman vs. the Netherlands 32, the Court has specifically stated that “as enshrined in article 9, freedom of thought, conscience and religion is one of the foundations of a “democratic society” within the meaning of the Convention. It is, in its religious dimension, one of the most vital elements that go to make up the identity of believers and

their conception of life, but it is also a precious asset for atheists, agnostics, sceptics and the unconcerned. The pluralism in dissociable from a democratic society, which has been dearly won over the centuries, depends on it”. Plus in various cases the Court has established elements that the freedom of religion consists of.33 A definition of religion as it is related to law is given and can be elucidated as “a practice of ultimate concern about our nature and obligations as human beings, inspired by experience and typically expressed by members of a group or community sharing myths and doctrines whose authority transcends both individual conscience and the state”.34 In order for the purpose of religion to be achieved, it is based on a set of values that people have to follow.

The idea of a spiritual approach to life is very old. The first evidence of spiritual rites are said to have taken place over 200.000 years ago.35 In a Spanish town named Atapuerca, bones of over 32 individuals were found in a cave at the bottom of a deep shaft. Those findings confirm that a more metaphysical dimension in certain situations in human’s life existed; this spiritual/metaphysical approach through the years was developed to what is called “religion” nowadays and as an outcome, in modern time, many religious movements have been active with different basis but same purpose.36

From the above mentioned it is clearly understood that religion plays a significant role in the moral fibre of many people around the world; that becomes part and parcel of their mental existence and culture. Therefore, as many different religions exist, different perceptions based on different set of values have been developed. Those different approaches are externalized within society creating disparities between citizens.

As religion is a very essential element, the State needs to protect it in an absolute way. Not the religion itself, but the right of every citizen to accept, believe in and manifest any religion freely. Historically speaking, many people trough centuries have suffered tortures and imprisonments because of having different religious beliefs; therefore a legal guarantee at the highest level possible was necessary. Nowadays freedom of religion is considered to be a basic fundamental human right.37

Historically, the first universal declaration of religious liberty is put in 313. By that time St. Constantine, 1st Emperor of the Byzantine Empire proclaimed religious freedom and toleration of Christianity and all other religions in the Edict of Milan.38 Specifically, in this inimitable historical document the freedom of religion was stated as:

“We thought it fit to commend these things most fully to your care that you may know that we have given to those Christians free and unrestricted opportunity of religious worship. When you see that this has been granted to them by us, your Worship will know that we have also conceded to other religions the right of open and free observance of their worship for the sake of the peace of our times, that each one may have the free opportunity to worship as he pleases; this regulation is made we that we may not seem to detract from any dignity or any religion.”39

This revolutionary for that time declaration includes the full protection of religious worship for every religion and respect for human dignity.

At a modern constitutional level, the freedom of religion was declared for the first time in the USA in the Virginia Bill of Rights of 1776 in article 1640. Later it was added in the list of fundamental rights guaranteed in a federal level by the Constitution of the USA in

1789 (at the first of the amendments known as the Bill of Rights). In Europe, the freedom of religion was even older; it was inaugurated in the Union of Utrecht (1579) in the Netherlands, the Edict of Nantes (1598) in France and the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) in Germany.41

Another important document that was a guide for modern Constitutions that guaranteed religious freedom is the Declaration of Rights of the Man and of the Citizen (article 10) after the French Revolution of 1789. Based on those documents all modern European countries established the freedom of religion in the Constitution during the 19th and the 20th century. Of course the protection of this freedom could not be missing from the European Convention on Human Rights which guarantee religious freedom in article 9.42

5. The freedom of religion in the Netherlands

As mentioned in the introduction, this paper’s aim is to analyse the freedom of religion by comparing its concept and limits within the legal order of two EU, Council of European history”, University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, Volume 4, issue 1, pages 28-30.

40 “That religion, or the duty which we owe to our CREATOR, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free

exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practice

Christian forbearance, love, and charity, towards each other”.

Europe and UN Member States (the Netherlands and Greece) with different perceptions concerning religion and therefore religious freedom. In this part the case of the Netherlands will be examined by taking the constitutional history of the country as a starting point up to modern legal status of this specific freedom.

5.1 The development of religious freedom in the Constitution of the Netherlands

The Constitution of the Netherlands was first instituted in 1814 after the independence of the Netherlands from France in 1813 and the establishment of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and was revised for the first time one year later because of the affiliation of Belgium with the Netherlands by decision of the Congress of Vienna in 1815.43 From the very beginning of the establishment of the Kingdom, the idea of distinct roles between the State and Church and religious freedom44 was dominant. This position was influenced by the Reformation took place in 16th century that split the Dutch into Catholic and Protestants.45

That idea became more clear in the revision of 1815.46 In that Constitution fundamental rights were included mainly concerning the freedom of expression through the press, the right of petition, the freedom of religion and the development of public education as a purpose of the State.

From that time the Dutch Constitution has been revised several times47 with the latest to be in 2002. Having regard to fundamental rights and specifically the freedom of religion not many of them can be characterized as major therefore will not be part of this paper.

Since the amendment of 1815 fundamental rights were guaranteed to a certain extent in the Constitution of the Netherlands. The freedom of religion seemed to have a considerable position within the Constitution; the 6th chapter (articles 190-196) was dedicated to religion.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

The general concept of this chapter was that the State should not interfere in religion issues;48

a fact that can be proven by the prohibition of religious education in (public) schools. For education related to religion, the State introduced the system of Sunday schools where students could follow special classes about the Bible. Those schools that are strictly connected to Christianity demonstrated some sort of domination of Christianity in the Netherlands.49Article 190 explicitly stated that “complete freedom of religious concepts is guaranteed to every person”. Plus, the Constitution took a step further by granting equal protection to all religious organizations and to confessors of all religions the same civil and political rights.50 An absolute recognition of religious freedom from the establishment of the Kingdom demonstrates the liberal spirit of the Constitution from the very beginning. In fact, the co-existence of people with different religious beliefs, mainly Catholics and Protestants, made that recognition necessary.

Furthermore the Constitution granted the free exercise of all religions without any hindrance (first part of article 196). Although it was a very modernly formulated provision, the exercise of religions was put into restrictions that were set in the second part of article

196. According to that, the exercise of religion shall comply with the laws of the State. Another limit was set in article 193 that the exercise of religion may be disturbed for reasons of public security and safety. Finally, the King ensured the integrity of this right as it was expressed in the Constitution.

In 1840, a constitutional amendment followed the declaration of independence on behalf of Belgium. Without being characterized as a major revision, it had little effects on the religious freedom. The 6th chapter was still the one related to religion with different numbering (articles 188-194).

A fundamental revision took place in 1848; rule-making powers were partly removed from the King and granted to the Government. From that time the House of Representatives (Second Chamber) is directly elected by the voters and obtained important powers;51 plus the responsibility of ministers was established. As far as the freedom of religion is concerned, the changes were not of much importance, in comparison with the general re-organisation of powers within the official institutions of the State. A numerical change made articles 164-170 refer to religion.


1 J. N. Rosenau, “The Drama of Human Rights in a Turbulent, Globalised World”, J. Donnelly, “Human Rights, Globalizing Flows and State Power” both in A. Brysk (ed.) “Globalization and Human Rights”, University of California Press, Berkeley, 2002.

2 See a relevant article in Minority Rights Group International at, 2006.

3 See article 24 of the Constitution of Turkey.

4 The European Convention on Human Right (ECHR) was drafted in 1950 by the Council of Europe and entered into force on 3 September 1953.

5 All those provision protect religious freedom in exactly the same way using the same terminology: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right includes freedom to change religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or in private, to manifest religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance”.

6 The Religious Freedom Page of University of Virginia at

7 J. Best, “The Federalist”, Papers, University Press of America,1988.

8 Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, “2008 Report on International Religious Freedom – Greece”, United States Department of State at,464db4f52,46bafaa62,48d5cbda9d,0.html, 2008.

10 ECHR case Darby vs. Sweden, application no. 11581/85, paragraph 45.

11 Not absolutely unique; for example section 4 of the Danish Constitution states that: “the Evangelical Lutheran Church shall be the Established Church of Denmark and as such, it shall be supported by the State” and section 2 (1) of the Maltese Constitution that: “the religion of Malta is the Roman Catholic Apostolic Religion”.

12 State and Church in the Netherlands in “European Studies on Religion & State Interaction”, at, 2007.

13 Analysis is given in the relevant chapter of this paper.

14 C. S. Wade, A. W. Bradley, “Constitutional And Administrative Law”, Longman, London and New York,


15 E.g. Article 13 of the German Constitution (inviolability of the home) was amended in 1998.

16 For instance article 9A of the Greek Constitution was inaugurated in the 2001 revision.

17 P. Poulis, “Introduction to Public Law”, Ant. N. Sakkoulas Publishers, Athens-Komotini (3rd edition 2007-in Greek).

18 P. D. Dagtoglou, “Constitutional Law Human Rights A”, Ant. N. Sakkoulas Publishers, Athens-Komotini (2nd edition 2005-in Greek).

19 C. Canady, “Religious Freedom and Democracy”, International Academy for freedom of Religion and Belief, International Coalition for Religious Freedom Conference on Religious Freedom and the New Millennium, Berlin, Germany, May 28-31, 1998.

20 Democracy and the United Nations, “Democracy and Human Rights”, at, also D. Beetham, “Democracy and

21 K. Chrisogonos, “Civil and Social Rights”, Ant. N. Sakkoulas Publishers, Athens-Komotini (2nd edition 2002- in Greek).

22 Article 11 of the Greek Constitution.

23 Other examples could be article 8 (1) of the German Constitution (freedom of assembly) and article 17 (1) of the Italian Constitution (right of assembly).

24 For instance article 4 of the Dutch Constitution (right to elect and stand for elections) states that “ subject to the limitations and exceptions prescribed by Act of Parliament”.

25 As an example article 9 (1) of the Dutch Constitution can be used: “the right of assembly and demonstration shall be recognized, without prejudice to the responsibility of everyone under the law”.

26 Although the formulation is not exactly the same the Dutch Constitution cites in article 22 (3) that “the authorities shall promote social development”.

27Article 1 (3) of the German Constitution

28 Examples can be the Greek Constitution (religious freedom-art. 13), the Spanish Constitution (religious freedom-art. 16) and the Danish Constitution (right to worship-section 67).

29M. W. Janis, R. S. Kay, A. W. Bradley, “European Human Rights Law Text and Materials”, Oxford, 3rd edition, 2008.

30 ECHR case Kokkinakis vs. Greece, application no. 14307/88.

31 ECHR case Buscarini and Others vs. San Marino, application no. 24645/94.

32 ECHR case van Schijndel, van der Heyden and Leenman vs. the Netherlands, application no. 30936/96.

33 For important cases see See also chapter 7 of this paper.

34 J. A. R. Nafziger, “The Functions of Religion in the International Legal System” in M. W. Janis and C. Evans

(eds.) “Religion and International Law”, 155, 158, 2004.

35 P. Pettitt, “When Burial Begins”, British Archaeology, issue 66, August, 2002.

36 Russell T. McCutcheon, “Critics Not Caretakers: Redescribing the Public Study of Religion”, SUNY Press, Albany, 2001.

37 D. H. Davis, “The Evolution of Religious Liberty as an Universal Human Right”, at

on_essay.html, 2006.

38 L. Swidler (ed.), “Religious Liberty and Human Rights in Nations and in Religions”, Ecumenical Press, Temple University, Philadelphia, Hippocrene Books, New York, 1986.

39University of Pennsylvania, Dept. of History, “Translations and Reprints from the Original Sources of

41 B. Vermeulen, “The Historical Development of Religious Freedom”, International Academy for freedom of

Religion and Belief, International Coalition for Religious Freedom Conference on Religious Freedom and the

New Millennium, Berlin, Germany, May 28-31, 1998.

42 For the protection of religious freedom in international agreements see the introduction, for a brief analysis of article 9 see chapter 7 of this paper.

43 Y. Klerk, E. J. de Jonge, “The Netherlands” in C. A. Gearty (ed.), ”European Civil Liberties and the European Convention on Human Rights, A Comparative Study”, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, The Hague, Boston, London, 1997.

44 B. Vermeulen, “The Historical Development of Religious Freedom”, International Academy for freedom of

Religion and Belief, International Coalition for Religious Freedom Conference on Religious Freedom and the

New Millennium, Berlin, Germany, May 28-31, 1998.

45 Kingdom of the Netherlands, Permanent Mission of the Netherlands in Geneva, “About the Netherlands”, at

46 State and Church in the Netherlands in “European Studies on Religion & State Interaction”, at, 2007.

47 For constitutional amendments see for instance L. F. M. Besselink, “Kingdom of the Netherlands: Charter and Constitution”, Ars Aequi Libri, Nijmegen, 2004.

48 D. B. Barrett, G. T. Kurian, T. M. Johnson, “World Christian Encyclopedia: A Comparative Survey of

C hu r ches and Religions in the Modern World”, Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 2001, pages 530-535.

49P. van Rooden, “Protestantism in the Netherlands to the present day” in A. E. McGrath, D. C. Marks (eds.),

“The Blackwell Companion to Protestantism”, Blackwell, 2003.

50 H. Knippenberg, “The Changing Relationship Between Church and State/Religion in the Netherlands”, GeoJournal, volume 67, issue 4, Springer Netherlands, 2006.

51 C.A.J.M. Kortmann and P.P.T. Bovend’Eert, “Dutch Constitutional Law”, Kluwer Law International, 2000.

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