Freedom of Religion in Islam and Buddhism: A Comparison Study of the Barriers That Determines the Freedom of Religion

  •  Mutsalim Khareng    
  •  Jaffary Awang    
  •  Zaizul Ab Rahman    
  •  Rohanee Machae    
  •  Khaidzir Ismail    


Freedom of religion is the human right that supports the individual to choose and practice a religion or belief. In the context of a multiracial society, freedom of religion should be debated openly to avoid any misunderstanding that distracts from harmonious social living. This research is a comparative study that focuses on the principles that determine the barriers of freedom of religion between Islam and Buddhism. For means of accuracy and relevancy of information, the researcher adopts the content analysis approach of the primary references in Islam and Buddhism. The research concludes that both religions share a similar scope of freedom of religion and declare freedom as a right that should be accorded to all. Both religions prioritize the social interest as the main benchmark in discussing the freedom of religion. Even though Islam awards freedom of religion to all, it nevertheless maintains some differences between the rights of Muslims and non-Muslims, i.e. that Muslims do not have the right to change their religion without meriting the label of apostate.

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