Church of Human Rights creates and adapts religious rituals to promote
human rights universally. It does so with humour and lightness, inspired by the Sunday Assembly. Ritual elements are inspired by diverse global religious cultures and spiritual traditions.
Like other churches, the Church of Human Rights is founded on beliefs -- statements of faith that cannot be proven (like normative ethics in philosophy). Our
faith focuses on real, down-to-earth
concepts like truth, love, charity, and mutual respect. We also
uphold the ideals of the French revolution: liberty, equality,
solidarity. We avoid reference to the
supernatural, the utopic, the magic, or the miraculous, and instead
importance of creativity, fantasy, and fun.
The Church of Human Rights recognizes that humans are social animals.
We need to belong to and
identify with groups, and we need to be proud of the aims and
achievements of the group to which we belong. The challenge is to
encourage that without rejecting other groups -- especially those with
similarly positive goals.
The work of the Church of Human Rights is based on three core beliefs.
1. People created god/s. Therefore, no gods or supernatural beings are included among our
beliefs. Instead, we believe that we are alone responsible for our actions and their
consequences. The church nevertheless respects theists
and theism. In fact, theists are our soulmates. The
emotions that theists feel in religious rituals
exist and are important, and we feel the same emotions. Like us, theists have same right to freely pursue their
practices, provided they do not infringe upon the rights of
2. Every conscious human being has inalienable rights
as set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (in its current
or future form as determined by the United Nations or an equivalent
successor organization). We all have the same fundamental inherent value, and the value of a human being is the most important
kind of value for us. By "conscious" we mean "able to reflect on
experience". Of course, unconscious human beings also have rights. We encourage an open, caring,
informed, ongoing discussion of this and other controversial issues.
3. Belief alone is not enough. We must act to ensure that human rights are universally and sustainably respected. Our most important task as humans is to sustainably reduce human suffering on a global
basis, and our moral
obligation increases with wealth and/or privilege. While
everyday acts of kindness are undeniably important, if we are serious
equality, we also need clear thinking, cooperation, and diligence. To
succeed in the long term, we must first identify the biggest global
problems and then
their causes to achieve sustainable progress. Today's biggest global
problems include poverty, hunger, disease, climate change, and
These beliefs or principles are constantly being challenged in church
discussions, and opinions among church members are diverse. There is
nevertheless a common agreement that basic shared assumptions of
this kind are necessary to give the church a clear direction.
Like other churches, the Church of Human Rights involves
ritual, music, and prayer, but it has no holy scriptures. We
acknowledge the historical and psychological importance of fantastic narratives with a moral
message, and respect the beauty and profundity of
the scriptures of traditional churches, but we do not seriously
entertain stories that have a magical element. We regard honesty, sincerity, and
integrity as even more
important than magic, and see no clear dividing line between religious belief and superstition.
Our "scripture" is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Like the scriptures of great religions, this document is written by humans, and like humans it is
imperfect. One of our goals is to contribute to improvement of this text in the
future. Meanwhile, we devote our time and energy to interpreting and
Our written sources also include the writings of great thinkers and researchers in humanities and sciences.
If widely accepted findings or positions in relevant academic
disciplines contradict the teachings of the church, those teachings
must be questioned.
this basis, we think for ourselves and take responsibility for our
thoughts and ideas. Our members inspire each other, explaining how
they would like to
contribute to a fairer world or how they are actually doing so. They
discuss in detail about what love and altruism mean for them and for
others. Laughter is common and jokes are respectful -- but not at the expense of others. Meetings are open to all. The role of consciousness
Consciousness is what separates humans from other animals. It plays an important role in the Church of Human Rights.
There may not be a conscious life after death, but unless we die in
some kind of armageddon, the world will continue after we die.
The wonderful things that we have experienced in our lifetimes, for
which we are grateful, imply an obligation to make a positive
contribution to the future as well as the present. If we love our children, we have no other choice.
There may not be a conscious life before birth, but if there is, its protection is
the mother's responsibility. Any discussion of this issue must respect
the human rights of women.
We cannot be sure about non-human consciousness and must therefore
also promote animal rights. But as long as millions of people are dying
every year from preventable hunger disease and violence, human
rights are even more important than non-human animal rights. Confronted
with a dying human and a dying non-human animal, our first instinct is
to save the human. The church pleads guilty to speciesism in this sense, but we also
believe in a future in which the rights of all animals including humans
are equally respected. We reject any doctrine that puts humans at the
pinnacle of creation/evolution or regards non-humans as mere resources
for human use.
Anti-groupism and interfaith dialog
It is ok to identify with a group of people who are similar to each
other in some way (appearance, language, gender, religion, profession
and so on). It is not ok to believe that one's group is inherently
superior to another group. This universal human tendency is
called groupism and it includes racism, sexism, and homophobia.
The Church of Human Rights is opposed to all forms of groupism and
works to replace
them with universal respect.
Churches are themselves groups. The Church of Human Rights is not fundamentally superior to
any other church; on the contrary, we are inspired by world
religions such as Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Christianity, although we also criticize them. We regret that many beautiful architectural
structures of other churches have fallen into disuse and aim to fill
them again with life, in friendly cooperation with other churches.
The Church of Human Rights works together with similar movements such as humanism and effective altruism. We support the promotion of human rights within existing churches (more).
Democracy and independence
The Church of Human Rights is and will always remain independent of any
other organisation, whether public, private, political, national,
global, economic, profit oriented, not for profit,
academic, religious, cultural, or social.
The church is democratic. All members have equal rights. Members' diverse contributions are appropriately
recognized. Any document
of aims, mission, rules, and procedures, including this introductory
mission statement, can be changed by democratic procedures.
The church strives for a maximum of transparency in financial management.It
is financed by anonymous donations and fund-raising events only.
Finances may be used to maintain buildings or pay administrators; as far as possible, costs of this kind are avoided or minimized. Founders
and leaders have no special status and receive no direct or indirect
payments of any kind for any service. Travel and accommodation expenses
are never reimbursed.
So far, the Church of Human Rights
is only an idea. You can help it to happen by contacting the author.
Please suggest how this document could be improved and the idea could
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