Religious freedom should not be understood as an exemption from the law or a special privilege, but as a fundamental human right, the Australian Christian Lobby said today. 

The comments come after calls by Amnesty International to remove religious exemptions from discrimination laws to strip Christian schools of their right to prefer employees who share their beliefs. 

ACL's Managing Director Martyn Iles said, "Christian schools must be able to hire staff who hold their ethos and Christian faith. This is not and should not be considered unjust discrimination. It is a basic democratic freedom. 

"These concerns are not raised in relation to other groups. For example, when political parties choose staff who share their political beliefs. Specifically targeting Christian schools is inconsistent and frankly looks like anti-religious bias. 

"True diversity means allowing different political and religious groups to co-exist whilst keeping their own distinct identity." 

The Australian Christian Lobby urges the government to continue allowing religious schools and organisations the ability to employ those who share their beliefs.