Dmytro Vovk is Director of the Centre for the Rule of Law and Religion Studies, Yaroslav Mudryi National Law University in Kharkiv, Ukraine, and co-editor of Talk About: Law and Religion.
Among other things the OSCE/ODIHR Freedom of Religion or Belief and Security Policy Guidance focuses on finding a fair balance between the autonomy of religious groups and the requirements of public safety and national security. The guidance document calls these two values “complementary, interdependent and mutually reinforcing objectives that can and must be advanced together.” The autonomy of a religious groups includes the right to self-name. It presupposes that religions may, at their discretion, choose any name for themselves based on their dogmas, canons, and principles. This name unites believers and expresses their shared religious identification. The name may include the institutional form of a religious group (church, movement, society, etc.), the name of the deity, a leader, sacred places or texts, the mission of the group, and so on. (more…)