When a clear winner failed to emerge from the struggle between reformed and traditional denominations of Christianity, in order to keep the peace in countries where the followers of both the fanatically opposed factions existed, it was considered necessary to divorce matters of religion from the business of the state (Hyma).
Often the weaker side in the conflict would demand freedom of religious belief and a degree of governmental neutrality in matters of religious conflict; gradually a person’s right to believe whatever they wished in religious matters began to be considered a fundamental human right (Hyma).
In many European countries people’s right to adopt whatever religious doctrines they wished or to give up religion altogether became enshrined into law or part of the constitution of the country an example of this is the first amendment to the constitution of the United States of America which forbids the legislature from interfering in religious matters or promoting a particular religious belief or restricting the freedom of an individual to say what he or she wishes. The amendment reflects a growing unwillingness in the ruling class to privilege Christianity or a specific type of Christianity over other religious faiths and to prevent criticism of the Christian religion and forbid blasphemous speech, which in the past would result in swift and harsh reprisals by secular authorities (Nash).
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