Freedom of Religion (Articles 25 – 28)

The Right to Freedom of Religion, as outlined in Articles 25, 26, 27, and 28, ensures that every citizen in India enjoys religious freedom. This constitutional provision aims to uphold the core principle of secularism in the country. In accordance with the Constitution, all religions are treated equally by the State, and no preference is given to any particular faith. Individuals have the liberty to preach, practice, and propagate the religion of their choice without any restrictions.

About Freedom of Religion

The Indian Constitution ensures the religious freedom of diverse individuals through Article 25, Clause (1). This provision, however, is subject to considerations such as “morality,” “public order,” and health, as well as other articles within Part III of the Constitution outlining fundamental rights. Additionally, Clause (2) of Article 25 serves as a “saving clause,” allowing for the restriction of religious rights based on “existing laws” or laws that the State deems necessary to enact. This legal framework underscores the importance of balancing religious freedom with societal concerns and legal provisions.

Regulation of Activities: Ensure oversight and regulation of financial, economic, political, or other secular activities associated with religious practices.

Promotion of Social Welfare and Inclusivity: Contribute to social welfare and reform by making Hindu religious institutions accessible to all sections of the Hindu community.

Article 26 serves as a cornerstone, granting the essential right to “corporate freedom” of religion and governing the relationship between the State and its citizens in terms of public order, morality, and well-being. This fundamental article ensures that every religious group, or any segment thereof, is entitled to exercise its rights in accordance with the principles of public order, morality, and well-being.

(a) Establishing and maintaining organizations dedicated to religious and charitable causes to make a positive impact.

(b) Managing internal religious affairs with a focus on fostering a sense of community and spiritual well-being.

(c) Acquiring and managing both movable and immovable assets with a heartfelt commitment to the organization’s mission.

(d) Ensuring proper governance and lawful management of assets in accordance with applicable regulations.

Article 26, specifically in provisions (b) and (d), guarantees every religious community or its specific segments the right to autonomously address their religious concerns, and the privilege to manage their properties (organizations) in accordance with state-enacted laws. The language used in these provisions underscores a crucial distinction between the authority of a religious group to oversee its religious affairs and its right to manage its tangible assets.

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