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The law should not restrict religious freedom in workplace, says think tank report

Nearly two thirds of people in the UK think the law should not prevent employees expressing their religious views in the workplace.

According to a report from Christian think tank Theos, a further 32% of employees  think religious freedom has been restricted over the past 10 years.

The paper, written by Roger Trigg, emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Warwick and academic director of the Centre for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Kellogg College, Oxford, argues that human beings are naturally religious animals and have a prima facie natural right to freely exercise their religion, which should not simply be equated with the right to free speech.

Trigg said: "If religious freedom is itself one of the most important rights, it must itself by the same token be entitled to equal respect from others. It cannot automatically be overridden in a clash of such rights.

"The role of religion in public life and the scope and limits of religious freedom cannot be decided simply by the democratic will of the people... The right to religious freedom is itself a basic right."

Shadow justice secretary Dominic Grieve added: "Professor Trigg has made an important contribution to the debate on religious freedom in our society. His strong advocacy that the religious foundation to society has served this country well is undoubtedly reflected by the evidence around us of what tolerant Christianity has been able offer to a multiplicity of other faith and secular groups within our country."