Human rights seminar series - seminar 6. The historical fundaments of human rights. The freedom of religion in the Netherlands since 1579

Activity: Talk and presentationProfessional or public presentationProfessional


In this lecture I argue that the freedom religion has a long tradition in the Netherlands. The development does not show a continuous upward trend. This fundamental right has never been absolute and is continuously subject to restrictions, especially in the public space. On the one hand, the position of religious communities is strong due to pillarization, including in education, but on the other hand, the activities in the public space are particularly limited. Since the eighteenth century, most restrictions have been primarily motivated by a fear of social unrest.
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Freedom of religion
  • public domain
  • pillarization
  • legal history