EUR is a secular higher education institution that retains a commitment to religious equality. It does not have any religious affiliation or endorse any denomination or faith. The university respects all religious and philosophical beliefs, as well as the lack of religion or belief, and the right of all members of its community to discuss and debate these issues freely.
Nevertheless, it is essential to recognise that despite EUR being a fundamentally secular institution, that the spiritual and moral systems that religions and beliefs offer can often be of fundamental importance to the wellbeing of many in the EUR community. Religious rituals, such as dress, diet and prayer, can be an integral part of religious life for members of the EUR community. It is essential that, where reasonably practicable, the needs of our community from all religious backgrounds, and those with no religious affiliation, are met. It is also important to be clear when the needs of religious students and staff may affect the needs and freedoms of others, and therefore cannot be accommodated.
In addition, it is crucial to recognise that harassment can still occur based on religious grounds for a variety of reasons, for example:
- on the grounds of a person’s belief or non-belief
- on the grounds of the belief or non-belief of someone with whom they associate
- to join or leave a faith
- to express or not express their faith
- because they have changed or renounced their religious/belief allegiance
This recognition extends to non-religious beliefs also.
Furthermore, EUR recognises the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. These rights are absolute, but manifestations of these beliefs are not. The right to manifest a belief may be qualified by the need to show respect for the differing worldviews, lifestyles and identities of others. EUR has an over-arching responsibility to promote pluralism and tolerance and should intervene in cases where manifestations of a belief constitute harassment or create conflict that goes beyond open and reasoned debate.