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How Britain led the world in developing freedom of religion

How Britain led the world in developing freedom of religion

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Test Acts were laws that made eligibility for certain jobs, public offices or even studying at university conditional on an individual affirming a particular religion or set of beliefs.

Three hundred years ago the British Parliament began the process of leaving the days of religious discrimination behind. The repeal of the Schism Act, the first of the Test Act repeals, on 10 January 1719 was to be an enormously important milestone in the development of freedom of religion or belief in the UK and around the world.

This watershed legal moment is not simply a matter of historical interest, but the very foundation upon which rests our freedom from being required to affirm any particular belief in order participate fully in society.