Religious discrimination

Definition

Religious discrimination is the prohibited unequal treatment of non-believers or those who believe in a different religion.

Our society is becoming more diverse and different as religions and cultures converge. The fact that the two do not always blend smoothly is a normal societal Phenomenon. Such diversity is nonetheless a fact and must be actively molded. Societal tensions are occasionally based on the lack of communication between two groups or religions. Occasionally, such tensions manifest themselves in the exclusion and discrimination of religious groups.

Internal policies of the Christian churches regarding moral values and lifestyle choices can discriminate against their staff. Similarly, non-denominational jobseekers can also be exposed to disadvantages in access to employment with religious employers. If a non-believer or someone who does not share in that belief is treated differently because of their non-belief or because of different religious beliefs, there is, according to general equality law, religious discrimination.

This dossier provides an overview, in which areas, religious discrimination is experienced. It also offers the legal bases related to the topic of religious discrimination, some selected court judgments, and lists further informational material.

Click here for a printer-friendly version of the dossier.

We cordially thank Anne Schultheis for issuing this dossier.

© Büro zur Umsetzung von Gleichbehandlung e.V. 2011