Can the right to freedom of religion supersede any other human right? According to international covenants, treaties and conventions all human rights are equal, yet reports of the violation of other human rights within some groups increase. As a result of the underlying culture and dynamics at work in some groups members are subtly induced to renounce their other human rights believing that it is a requirement for wholehearted commitment. These rights include the right to freedom of expression, freedom of association and movement to mention a few. Unfortunately, this kind of expression of religion is harmful to the members not only in the context of their subsistence as human beings but also with regards to relationships. It further establishes a dependance on the group that ultimately results in an unhealthy control over them. In most cases this control leads to the destruction of family structures, relationships and the ability to associate freely. It furthermore leads to the adoption of another “ideal” identity presented by the group that leads to “robotic” behaviour. It has even lead to suicidal deaths in extreme cases.
Thus the answer to the aforementioned question must be ‘NO’. A framework of communication is needed in order to investigate and address allegations of the violation of human rights within some groups.