Freedom Of Worship: Problems In Concepts Differentiation

Journal Issue:

Author Information: 

Doctor of Philosophy, Associate Professor at the Department of Humanitarian, Social, Economic, Information and Legal Disciplines of the Academy of the Prosecutor General's Office of the Russian Federation


In the present article, author discusses problem of specifying the concepts of "freedom of conscience" and "freedom of religion", and the question of their relations definable borders. Author, points to the need to divide these concepts, explores the process of securing the corresponding terms in the text of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Author notes that in all previously existing communities the religion was considered as the basis, on which was formed worldview that is the core of Western culture as a whole. Even relations, no direct religious influence, however, been included in the religious sense structure. In modern society, the situation is different. Despite the fact that freedom of religion is a self-sufficient legal institution and has its own specific content, constitutional rule through a combination of formal independent concepts fixes it inside another structural formation - Institute for freedom of conscience. In view of this, in practice, the concept of "freedom of religion" and "freedom of conscience" is often identified because of the "blurring" of insufficient specificity of the latter. The correction of this situation possibly based on more detailed and full prescribing powers in the areas of freedom of conscience and freedom of religion. In conclusion, author notes, that religious freedom acts as an element of freedom of conscience, as to the latter, in the political and legal importance of this category relates, in addition to the freedom of choice of religion and freedom to participate in religious practices, and even the right to share or not to share (to have, receive) conviction of another kind. From our point of view, the qualitative change of the Institute of freedom of conscience is possible only on the basis of conscious differentiation of the concepts and their concretization, consisting in a more detailed and complete prescribing powers in the areas of freedom of conscience and freedom of religion.


freedom of worship, freedom of religion, freedom of belief, religious beliefs, not religious beliefs, atheistic belief, legal institute, constitutional norm.

[1] Andreev K.M. Pravo na religioznuyu tajnu v Rossijskoj federacii (voprosy teorii i praktiki): monografiya.  M.: ID "Yurisprudenciya". 2014. 
[2] Gimgina M.E. Soderzhanie i pravovoe regulirovanie svobody religii: opyt evropejskix gosudarstv // Rossijskij yuridicheskij zhurnal. 2013. No. 6. 
[3] Zakon RSFSR ot 25.10.1990 No. 267-1 "O svobode veroispovedanij" // SPS "KonsultantPlyus", 2015.
[4] Zakon SSSR ot 01.10.1990 No. 1689-1 "O svobode sovesti i religioznyx organizaciyax" // SPS "KonsultantPlyus", 2015.
[5] Ivanyuk O.A. Svoboda sovesti i svoboda veroispovedaniya: sootnoshenie ponyatij i granicy zakonodatelnogo regulirovaniya // Zhur-nal rossijskogo prava. 2010. No. 9. 
[6] Isaeva A.A. Obshhestvenno poleznye religioznye organizacii: osobennosti statusa, zarubezhnyj opyt, perspektivy ispolzovaniya v Rossii. Tomsk: Izdatelskij Dom TGU. 2014. 
[7] Konstituciya Rossijskoj Federacii (prinyata vsenarodnym goloso-vaniem 12.12.1993) // SPS "KonsultantPlyus", 2015.
[8] Pchelincev A.V. Svoboda religii i prava veruyushhix v sovremennoj Rossii. M.: ID "Yurisprudenciya". 2007. 
[9] Rumyancev O.G. Iz istorii sozdaniya Konstitucii Rossijskoj Federacii. Konstitucionnaya komissiya: stenogrammy, materialy, doku-menty (1990-1993): v 6 t. T.1. M.: Volters Kluver, 2007. 
[10] Simonov V.A. Nacionalnaya politika i konstitucionno-pravovoe regulirovanie svobody sovesti i veroispovedaniya v Rossijskoj Federacii // Konstitucionnoe i municipalnoe pravo. 2007. No. 13.