One of the cornerstones of conservatism is the deeply rooted belief that every human being should be free to live according to their convictions and fulfil their potentials without any hindrance from the state. If, as Conservatives, we take a high view of freedom, surely the most basic freedom - and therefore the most fundamental - is the freedom of one’s thoughts and conscience.
Regimes that violate freedom of religion or belief, or allow non-state actors to violate this freedom with impunity, are their own worst enemy. It is a fundamental truth about human beings that without the freedom to form what we think, believe or don’t believe, and express it, neither the individual nor the society he or she belongs to can ever advance.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights therefore enshrines this freedom in the Article 18:
“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”