“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and 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.”

Article 18, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Forum 18 News Service is named after this article and the similar Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a core international human rights treaty. We work for freedom of religion or belief for all on the basis of these articles.

A Christian initiative, Forum 18 affirms on the basis of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ that each person - whatever their belief or non-belief - has an inherent dignity which no state or person can take from them. Freedom of religion or belief – which includes the right to have no religion and to criticise any religion - is therefore a fundamental human right essential for the dignity of humanity and true freedom.

Forum 18 provides truthful, original, detailed, and accurate monitoring and analysis of violations of freedom of thought, conscience and belief in Central Asia, Russia, the South Caucasus, and Belarus. We also publish occasional analyses on Turkey.

All Forum 18 News Service text may be referred to, quoted from, or republished in full, if Forum 18 www.forum18.org is credited as the source. We welcome linking to our website.

All photographs that are not Forum 18's copyright are attributed to the copyright owner. If you reuse any photographs from Forum 18's website, you must seek permission for any reuse from the copyright owner or abide by the copyright terms the copyright owner has chosen.

A Norwegian-Danish-Swedish initiative, Forum 18 is a non-profit charitable foundation, registered with the Danish Tax Authority (SKAT). Its CVR/SE-number is 34929998.

The organisations forming Forum 18’s Board are:

  • Dansk Missionsråd (Denmark)
  • Equmeniakyrkan (Uniting Church in Sweden)
  • Den norske Helsingforskomité (Norwegian Helsinki Committee)
  • Stefanusalliansen (Norway)

Forum 18's Chair is Henrik Ertner Rasmussen of the Dansk Missionsråd. Also on the Board as an individual member is Anna Hyvärinen (Finland).

Forum 18 News Service has been allocated an ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) by the National Library of Norway (Nasjonalbiblioteket). This is ISSN 1504-2855.

Forum 18:

The right to believe, to worship and witness
The right to change one’s belief or religion

The right to join together and express one’s belief