Freedom of Religion justified from natural law
By Guoting Guo
Throughout history, governments have attempted to control religious organizations and limited religious freedom. However, over the past two hundred years the world has extended religious liberty. What explains this rise in religious freedom? For all human being has the free will and personal spiritual experience, through study we learn that the first nation come true the religious liberty is United States and their fundamental documents drafter was Thomas Jefferson who was mainly influenced by John Locke's theory of natural law. Therefore, I think the main reason for the freedom of religion has developed in the world is the natural law ideology.
I the right of religious liberty is well build in International law
The right to freedom of religion is one of the oldest human rights recognized internationally. The Peace of Westphalia (1648), which accorded international protection to religious groups. The right of religious liberty added dynamism to the Virginia's Bill of Rights of 1776, the Austrian Act of Religious Tolerance of 1781 and the Virginia Statute of Religious Liberty of 1786.The Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations (UDHR1948) was a fruit of development, which was followed by a series of human rights conventions supported in varying degrees by all countries. all articles are based and developed from the article 18 of the UDHR of 1948, which states:
"Everyone has the right to freedom of… religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance".
1. Everyone have the right to freedom of religion. This right includes freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, observance, practice, and teaching.
2. no one shall be subject to coercion, which would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.
3. freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs may be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary to protect public safety, order, health, or moral or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
Therefore, the principle of Freedom of Religion is welled build in the field of international law; almost in all State's law declare that citizens have the right of religious liberty now. However, in practice, in all totalitarian and dictatorship regimes, no such thing as religious liberty, for these regimes all deny the principle of natural law, deny the natural rights and wherever and whenever deny the principle of natural law and natural rights, where and when the religious liberty could not survive.
II. Freedom of Religion and natural law
A. national law theory
What is religion? It is impossible to have a universal accepted definition, for different people have various opinions. A apologist for Christianity, Schleiermacher, defined religion in terms of 'the feeling of absolute dependence upon God'; a philosopher, Whitehead, defined religion as ' what the individual does with his solitariness'; a famous religion scholar, Edward Tyler, defined religion as 'belief in spiritual being'; a another religion scholar, James Frazer ,defined religion as 'a propitiation or conciliation of powers superior to man'; a author, Rudolf Otto defined religion as 'a unique, original feeling response…which claims consideration in its own right'; and the well-known psychologist, Freud even described religion as 'a universal obsessional neurosis'; even Marxism and Fascism have been described as 'quasi-religion'. In my opinion, religion is a faith for where we are from and where we are going.
1. nature and religion
Generally speaking, the religious origin of man's consciousness of right and the legal order was or is affirmed through the intermediary of the natural law. In the rationalistic conception, man's consciousness of right and the legal order is not brought into relationship with God. For primitive man nature had a numinous and sacral meaning, they lived in a society whose norms were dictated by nature and for them nature was never merely 'natural'; it is for them always filled with religious meaning. Nature's life of the primitive man had the numinous and the sacred, he tried to integrate his own life into that of nature, the nature and culture have spontaneously a religious meaning, not only birth and death, sexual relations and sickness, but also work, politics, morality, traffic, science, economy-everything has a religious foundation. Thus, religion was born at very beginning with the human being.
2. God and Natural Law
Hammurabi called himself " King of Justice" because he received the legal order of his kingdom from the hands of Shamash. All Chinese ancient emperors declared themselves as the Son of God. Therefore, entire legal order or at least the authority and the power of the rulers receive an absolute and sacred character if they are seen as directly related to God's will.
Spinoza asserted that the power and force through which everything in nature exists and operates is nothing but the power and force of God. God's power is unlimited and therefore God has a right to everything. Since whatever is in nature exists and operates by virtue of God's power and since God's absolute power is God's absolute right, it follows that the right of whatever is in nature is in direct ratio to the power it has to exist and operate. This right of everything that exists in nature is the natural law, and the natural law extends as far as the power of nature and of everything that exists in nature.
3. Reason and the natural law.
The natural law derives from a few very general and self-evident principles. Sometimes they even estimated it as superior and better then positive law because it did not come forth from the will of a lawgiver and therefore was valid for all times and places for all human beings. However someone challenged: How would the discursive reason on its own be able to formulate a system of legal norms which in its completeness and its detailed character can be compared with positive law when the creation of a single role of positive law sometimes demands months and even years of strenuous work? How can reason alones be able to excogitate a system of norms valid for all people at all times and all places when it is certain that no two times, no two places and no two people are alike? How can a system of norms be unchangeable if times, places and people change? In the light of the strenuous work jurists must perform in order to precisely take account of the concrete and change times, places and people, the rationalistic view of the natural law presents itself as an intolerable pretension. The rationalistic view of the natural law has disappeared from the scene. Mans natural rights would be determined by the power of his reason. But man does not live according to his reason; he is driven by passions and desires. Because people let themselves be swayed by their passions and desires, they are naturally one another's enemies.
4. Essence and natural law.
The legal order as a whole must have a foundation that cannot have a purely positive-juridical character. Many philosophers have tried to base the positive legal order on the nature of man. In so far as the legal order is based on man's essence, there will be as many different views about the natural law as there are different anthropologies. Even the rationalistic conception of the natural law is based on a view of man. 
B. Natural law
Natural law theory is one of the most important theories in the philosophy of Classical Realism. In order to understand the natural law we need discuss more detail some content of the natural law.
1. the definition of the natural law
Natural law is that "unwritten law" that is more or less the same for everyone everywhere (Aristotle). In an another word, natural law is the concept of a body of moral principles that is common to all humankind and recognizable by human reason. It may be defined as "rules of action prescribed by non-human authority which is superior to the state. These rules variously are derived from divine commandment; from the nature of humankind; from abstract Reason; or from long experience of mankind in community".