United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Practice Relating to Rule 104. Respect for Convictions and Religious Practices
The UK Military Manual (1958) states: “Protected persons who remain in the territory of the belligerent must, in general, … be allowed … to practice their religion.”
In the case of occupied territories, the manual states: “Public worship must be permitted and religious convictions respected by the Occupant, who must permit ministers of religion to give spiritual assistance to the members of their religious communities.”
The manual also states: “It is a duty of the Occupant to see that … [the] religious convictions [of the inhabitants] are not interfered with.” It adds: “According to the [1949 Geneva Convention IV], protected persons are entitled in all circumstances to respect for … their religious convictions and practices.”
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) states: “In all circumstances … religious convictions … of protected persons should be respected.”
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states: “The person, honour, family rights, religious convictions and practices, and the manners and customs of protected persons must in all circumstances be respected.”
In its chapter on occupied territory, the manual specifies:
Public worship must be permitted by the occupying power and religious convictions respected, ministers of religion being permitted to give spiritual assistance to members of their religious communities. The occupying power must also accept consignments of books and articles needed for religious purposes and facilitate their distribution within the territory. If the salaries of the clergy are paid by the state and the occupying power collects the taxes, it must continue to pay them.
In its chapter on internal armed conflict, the manual restates the following provision of the 1977 Additional Protocol II:
“All persons who do not take a direct part or who have ceased to take part in hostilities, whether or not their liberty has been restricted, are entitled to respect for their person, honour and convictions and religious practices …”.