Freedom of belief

Article. 18 of the 1966 United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that man has the right of 'intellectual, emotional, and religious freedom'. This includes one's freedom to follow a certain religion and one's freedom to show one's religion or one's belief through worshiping, practicing, and education, as an individual or in a group, in front of people or alone.

Moreover, the 1971 Egyptian constitution, (article no. 46) says that the state ensures freedom of belief and freedom of practice of all religious rituals.

Those supporting the UN covenant see religion as a personal conviction, that no one has the right to interfere with. This is seen by those advocates as a basic human right, resulting in the protection of a nation's citizens from all forms of harassment and discrimination.

Opponents of such international covenants would say that faiths that fall outside the monotheistic religions should be monitored and restricted in order to maintain a society's structure and well being. Some would go further in saying that there should be punishments for those who worship 'false' gods, such as the punishment for apostasy that is instituted in some nations.