Lourdes Peroni


This Article examines the ways in which one of the most established human rights courts—the European Court of Human Rights—encourages or discourages intragroup religious diversity when dealing with religious freedom claims. In particular, it critically assesses the Court’s attentiveness to internal group diversity by scrutinizing the objective filters that the Court employs to determine whether certain practices “count” as a manifestation of claimants’ religion for legal purposes. The Article argues that, at times, these filters are based on assumptions about religion and religious groups that impede recognition of more lived experiences of religion and internal group diversity. The Article further contends that making objective filters more porous to such experiences and diversity may therefore require reconsidering implicit understandings of religion and eschewing assumptions of orthodoxy about certain religious groups, especially when these assumptions are formulated in ways that fix and naturalize some religious practices as the defining ones for the entire group.