ARTICLE: The Effect of International Treaties on Religious Freedom in Mexico Skip over navigation
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Copyright (c) 2002 Brigham Young University Law Review
Brigham Young University Law Review

ARTICLE: The Effect of International Treaties on Religious Freedom in Mexico


2002 B.Y.U.L. Rev. 301


Ricardo Hernandez-Forcada*


I. Introduction: The Importance of Religious Liberty
Religious liberty is a fundamental right that should be guaranteed to every human being. It is one aspect of the liberty of thought and conscience. 1 A person's fundamental convictions are particularly important since they are the center around which the individual's life turns. The state should be the main protector of this liberty and should not only refrain from interfering with its enjoyment, but also foster conditions for individuals to exercise this liberty.

In Mexico, the development of this right has a complex history. While the Mexican people have always been able to have a religion, sometimes this ability has been limited. At times they have only been allowed to profess the state-mandated religion of Catholicism. At other times their religious beliefs have been subject to excessive regulations and limitations. Even now some of these regulations persist. Part of the current debate over religious freedom in Mexico involves the discussion of what role these regulations should play.

To fully understand the current debate over religious freedom in Mexico, one must have an awareness of its historical development, which differs from developments in many other Latin American countries. 2 This article first traces the evolution of Mexican religious freedom in Part II. Part III places that development into context by examining some of the international agreements signed by Mexico. And finally, Part IV offers a few conclusions on how Mexico can better protect religious liberty.

II. Historical Development
Mexico has ...
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