RELATED EVENTSMarch 24, 2014
February 25, 2014
December 13, 2013
October 9, 2013
October 2, 2013
September 18, 2013
May 31, 2013
May 30, 2013
February 12, 2013
January 7, 2013
December 14, 2012
Policy Consultation on Religious Freedom, Violent Religious Extremism, and Constitutional Reform in Muslim-Majority Countries: Lessons for U.S. Policy MakersDecember 7, 2012
October 24, 2012
Which Model, Whose Liberty?: Differences between the U.S. and European Approaches to Religious FreedomOctober 11, 2012
September 14, 2012
September 13, 2012
Religious Freedom and the HHS Mandate: a Conversation with Representatives Jeff Fortenberry, Diane Black, Ann Marie Buerkle and Dan LipinskiJune 28, 2012
May 14, 2012
May 1, 2012
April 11, 2012
March 22, 2012
March 16, 2012
March 1, 2012
February 13, 2012
February 10, 2012
January 31, 2012
December 5, 2011
November 17, 2011
October 20, 2011
September 23, 2011
May 4, 2011
April 29, 2011
AT THE CENTER
PROJECT LEADERSThomas F. Farr is director of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and a visiting associate...
Timothy Samuel Shah is associate director of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and...
ASSOCIATE SCHOLARSIlan Alon is the George D. and Harriet W. Cornell Chair of International Business and director of the China Center at Rollins College, specializing...
Anthony (Tony) Gill is a professor of political science and adjunct professor of sociology at the University of Washington, a distinguished senior...
Brian J. Grim is president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation and a leading expert on the socioeconomic impact of restrictions on...
Allen Hertzke is Presidential Professor of Political Science at the University of Oklahoma and faculty fellow in Religious Freedom for OU’s...
William Inboden is associate professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and executive director of the Clements Center for History, Strategy, and...
Karrie J. Koesel is assistant professor of Political Science at the University of Oregon and an associate scholar with the Berkley Center's...
Timur Kuran is professor of economics and political science and Gorter Family Professor in Islamic Studies at Duke University, as well as an...
John M. Owen IV is the Ambassador Henry J. and Mrs. Marion R. Taylor Professor of Politics and faculty fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies...
Daniel Philpott, a professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for Peace Studies and an associate scholar with...
Ani Sarkissian is an assistant professor of political science at Michigan State University (MSU) and an associate scholar with the Berkley Center's...
Rebecca Samuel Shah is a research fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and an associate scholar with the Berkley...
W. Bradford Wilcox is an associate professor of sociology and the director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, as well...
Robert Woodberry is an associate professor of Political Science and director of the Project on Religion and Economic Change at the National...
PROJECT STAFFNicholas Fedyk joined the Berkley Center in June 2014 as a project associate with the Religious Freedom Project. He graduated from Georgetown's...
Claudia Winkler joined the Berkley Center in February 2014 as a project associate with the Religious Freedom Project. Before joining the center,...
Mathew Anderson, a Georgetown doctoral student and RFP research assistant, published an article for openDemocracy. Matt commented on the origins of religious freedom in Islam and the persecution of Christians in Iraq. He also evaluated the sweeping theological claims of ISIS, which promotes a misleading 'purified' view of Islam.
The RFP's Facebook page features expert commentary and news about upcoming events. Like the page today to join an online community of practitioners, scholars, and students interested in the study of religious liberty around the world.
Brian Grim, RFP scholar and President of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, released a new study yesterday, concluding that business is good for religious freedom. Case studies involve Coca-Cola's "small world machines," NGOs in Nigeria, and entrepreneurship among impoverished Afro-Brazilians.
Daniel Philpott wrote an article for openDemocracy on the impossibility of human rights without God, arguing that belief in God provides the logical basis behind human rights. Without the existence of a God who is omnipotent and who takes personal interest in creation, the concept of rights dissolves into incomprehensibility.
RFP Associate Scholar Tony Gill interviews fellow RFP scholar Ani Sarkissian to discuss politics and civil society in Turkey. Dr. Sarkissian explains that government prohibitions on overtly ethnic or religious civil associations have failed to have the intended effect of broadening participation in civil society.
related | Religious freedom and political stability
Former RFP associate scholar Roger Trigg has published a new book with Cambridge University Press. In Religious Diversity: Philosophical and Political Dimensions, Trigg examines the complexities of secularism, tolerance, and relativism. He also analyzes the political implications of increasing religious diversity.
The National Catholic Register quoted Tom Farr in its analysis of US strategy in Iraq. Farr suggests that sectarian violence could have been avoided if the United States had promoted religious freedom as a non-military means of preventing religious extremism.
The Religious Freedom Project is now on Facebook! Please visit our page for updates on our blog, scholars, and other related news and events.
On our Cornerstone blog, writers respond to Monday's Supreme Court decision regarding religious freedom and Hobby Lobby. Read analysis from Tom Farr and Steven D. Smith.
response | Ira Lupu and Robert Tuttle
Mark Movsesian, professor at St. John's School of Law and contributor to our blog Cornerstone, reflects on the themes and challenges of last week's International Religious Freedom and Global Clash of Values Conference in Rome. Quoting RFP director Tom Farr, he outlines two types of skepticism that drive the religious freedom debate.
Voice of America quoted Brian Grim in their coverage of Falun Gong, a controversial spiritual movement banned in China. While limited by Beijing-sponsored censorship, Falun Gong relies on the Internet to communicate with its members. Grim notes that religious movements have a huge stake in how the Internet is run.
Addressing the International Congress on Religious Liberty on June 20, Pope Francis voiced his support for religious freedom around the world. "Reason recognizes in religious liberty a fundamental right of man that reflects his lofty dignity," the Pope said. "This is a great challenge in the globalized world..."
related | Also speaking in Rome, Tom Farr discussed the crisis of religious persecution. His statement can be read here.
RFP Associate Scholar Brian Grim has been invited to join the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on the Role of Faith. Grim will participate in the Summit on the Global Agenda held November 9-11 in Dubai.
During a recent visit to Malaysia, a major Malaysian newspaper interviewed RFP Associate Director Timothy Shah. Citing data from the Pew Research Center, he discusses how social hostilities are related to religious freedom, and how the government can secure peace and prosperity in the region.
The Religious Freedom Project has received a new grant from the Templeton Foundation and has entered into a partnership with Baylor's Institute for the Studies of Religion, which will support the scholarly and public outreach dimensions of the RFP.
related ׀ Deseret News covers RFP-ISR partnership
The American Spectator cited Tim Shah in its discussion of the recent electoral victories of Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party in India, which have elicited concerns about religious freedom and persecution.
A new study co-authored by RFP Associate Scholar Brian Grim identifies religious freedom as one of only three factors significantly associated with global economic growth.
RFP Director Tom Farr, speaking at a conference in Rome, argued that there are many reasons for societies to embrace religious freedom, including the moral imperative to stop persecution that is occurring in many countries around the world.
During a panel held at the Heritage Foundation on May 29, RFP associate director Timothy Shah discussed the recent electoral victories for the Bharatiya Janata Party in India and PM Narendra Modi's unsettling role in the 2002 Gujarat riots.
In the newest installment of the Cornerstone series focusing on the prioritization of religious freedom in American law and culture, Richard Garnett examines the strong commitment to religious liberty that existed alongside the political and cultural centrality of Christianity in nineteenth-century America. Donald Drakeman and Daniel Walker Howe join the discussion.
RFP director Tom Farr and associate scholar Brian Grim recently took part in a four-day program on Religion and Foreign Policy held by the US Department of State's Foreign Service Institute at the George P. Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center. Farr specifically discussed the relationship between religion and the development of democracy.
In a new Cornerstone series focusing on the prioritization of religious freedom in American law and culture, Thomas Kidd initiates this week's discussion by emphasizing the vital connection between civil and religious liberty understood by the American founders. Matthew Franck, Marci Hamilton, and Mark Noll join the conversation to offer further insights.
Related | Cornerstone homepage
In his article for Foreign Policy’s blog “Shadow Government,” RFP Associate Scholar William Inboden advocates lifting the visa ban on India’s newly-elected prime minister Narendra Modi to renew stagnated ties between India and the United States. He furthers calls on the Obama administration to develop specific policy initiatives to communicate its support for religious toleration and freedom in India.
“Religious Freedom and Chinese Society: A Symposium of Case Analysis” was held on May 5-7, 2014 at Purdue University and organized by RFP associate scholar Fenggang Yang. The participants, including lawyers, ministers, and scholars, drafted a text of consensus for signatures in order to increase understanding of religious freedom and to focus attention on issues of religious freedom in China.
On May 15, the religion, policy and politics project at the Brookings hosted an event to discuss how and when religion is relevant to foreign policy. Participants explored various approaches to religious engagement in diplomacy, international religious freedom, and differences between U.S. and European approaches to these issues. Leading up to this event, RFP's Thomas Farr participated in an invitation-only workshop on May 14 focused on exploring transatlantic differences in approaches to religion in foreign policy.
In honor of the thousands of graduating college seniors celebrating commencement across the country this spring, Cornerstone is exploring the issue of religious freedom on college campuses. Read what faculty members and graduating students have to say about religious liberty at institutions of higher education in general and at Georgetown University, specifically.
RFP Director Tom Farr addressed a panel on "Understanding U.S. International Religious Freedom Policy," at a conference on Religion and Security in World Affairs held at the US Naval War College, May 7-8, 2014 in Newport, Rhode Island. Farr emphasized the crucial, yet often neglected, role that religious freedom plays in national security.
In a new post on Cornerstone, Brian Grim recounts a Turkish trade representative’s epiphany that religious freedom strengthens economic performance. The official had come to the realization that discriminatory hiring practices directed against Muslim women wearing the hijab constrain roughly one-half of Turkey's female population from fully contributing their skills to the marketplace.
RFP scholar Brian Grim recently traveled to Finland and Norway to strategize sustainable business models for the Dalit communities of Pakistan and Nepal. He explored ways to aid local Dalit entrepreneurs in the startup of waste collection and recycling enterprises that would be profitable and productive of social harmony.
In a new post on the RFP blog Cornerstone, RFP scholar Rebecca Shah argues that religious freedom augments the economic position of the poor. She asserts that religious faith ennobles the self-perception of materially underprivileged believers. In so doing, religion engenders hopeful confidence, inspiring the poor to surmount despondence and to take action to change their economic situation.
RFP associate director Timothy Shah recently took part in a four day program on Religious Tolerance and Hate Crimes conducted by the US Department of Justice in cooperation with Malaysia's National Unity Consultative Council. The Sun's "Egalitaria" blog highlighted Shah's visit in a post arguing for a reduction in government restrictions on religion.
video | Shah Lectures in Malaysia
On Tuesday, April 29, the RFP co-sponsored an event with the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding featuring Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, former Bishop of Rochester and spokesman for Muslim-Christian engagement. Using the two traditions’ symbiotic yet antagonistic historical relationship, Nazir-Ali addressed contemporary and future controversies.
The Religious Freedom Project has launched a new blog that examines the social implications of religious freedom (or a lack thereof) around the globe. The blog, Cornerstone, is the only online platform devoted exclusively to the scholarly examination of the meaning and reach of religious liberty. This week Cornerstone explores the links between religious freedom and political stability.
In his blog The Weekly Number, RFP Scholar Brian Grim contends that there is an inherent link between poverty and religious hostility. He reports that the countries where the world's poorest live - notably China, India, and Nigeria - have drastically high levels of violent hostilities against religious expression.
In its March 2014 issue, First Things published a review of The Future of Religious Freedom: Global Challenges, edited by RFP scholar Allen Hertzke. The volume of essays on the state of religious freedom worldwide is lauded in the article as “a judicious and thought-provoking collection, deserving of a wide audience.”
Citing the recent RFP event "Everybody's Business: The Legal, Economic, and Political Implications of Religious Freedom," RFP scholar Brian Grim argues that Pope Francis' expression of concern over the growth of threats to religious liberty in the United States during his meeting with President Obama is of particular importance given the connection between religious freedom and positive economic outcomes.
Opinion writer Kathleen Parker notes the surprising points of agreement between Alan Dershowitz and Judge Ken Starr during the keynote conversation at the March 24 RFP event titled "Everybody's Business: The Legal, Economic, and Political Implications of Religious Freedom.
> Thomas Farr Delivers Keynote Address at the Annual Conference of Christianity Solidarity Worldwide
On March 29 Thomas Farr, director of the Religious Freedom Project, delivered a keynote address for the CSW’s 2014 conference, “Pursue Justice: Speaking out for Religious Freedom.” Dr. Farr discussed the ongoing threats to religious freedom and the need for greater attention and action.
On March 24, the day before Supreme Court oral arguments on the Hobby Lobby case, the Religious Freedom Project co-sponsored a conference with Baylor University on religious freedom, business, and the poor. The conference opened with an “On Topic” keynote conversation between Baylor University President and Chancellor, Judge Ken Starr, and Harvard University Law Professor Alan Dershowitz.
RFP scholar Brian Grim will deliver a plenary address to the annual meeting of the Religious Liberty Partnership in Ottawa, Canada on March 25. This meeting brings together leaders of religious freedom organizations worldwide to discuss latest trends and strategies.
On March 18, RFP associate director Timothy Shah will present a lecture at Eastern Nazarene College entitled, "The Liberating Kingdom: Recovering Christianity’s Surprising and Often Forgotten Contributions to Human Freedom." His remarks will focus on Christian treatments of human liberty in light of Christianity’s historical contributions to political freedoms.
In a Catholic News Service video entitled “Catholicism and the Challenge of Liberty,” RFP scholar Daniel Philpott attacks the common narrative that Christianity is a barrier to human freedoms. He contends that historically, Christianity has actually introduced the notion of freedom into political discourse.
Related video | Philpott's full argument at the Christianity & Freedom Conference
In a post for Foreign Policy's blog "Shadow Government," RFP scholar William Inboden argues that the United States should take action in response to Russia's violations of international law and sovereignty. He argues that this will restore America's credibility in the international community.
> Timothy Shah Invited by US Department of Justice to Speak with Malaysian Officials on Importance of Religious Freedom
RFP Associate Director Timothy Shah will take part in a four day program on Religious Tolerance and Hate Crimes conducted by the US Department of Justice in cooperation with Malaysia's National Unity Consultative Council. Shah will meet with top officials in Malaysia from April 7-10 to discuss the importance of religious freedom for economic, political, and social flourishing.
William Inboden's latest article on Foreign Policy's blog "Shadow Government" enjoins the Obama Administration to create more robust support for international freedom in response to the worrying trends reported in the 2014 Freedom in the World Report.
RFP director Tom Farr speaks to Foreign Policy on the implications of the recent meeting between US ambassador to India, Nancy J. Powell, and prime-ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. In 2005 Modi was denied a visa under the International Religious Freedom Act for failing to protect Muslim minority citizens from religiously motivated violence.
On February 25, 2014, the Religious Freedom Project will host Dr. Andrew Bennett, the first Canadian ambassador for religious freedom, and Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, the vice-chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, for a conversation on international religious freedom policy moderated by RFP director, Tom Farr.
RFP Director Tom Farr argues that the Roman Catholic Church's current role in protecting religious freedom is critical to alleviating global strife. Farr concludes that in protecting the beliefs and practices of both individuals and religious communities, the Catholic Church increases economic, civil, and political stability for all.
Research on Religion, a podcast supported by Baylor University's Institute for Studies of Religion, recently featured two discussions from the RFP's Freedom to Flourish Conference. The discussions featured the Berkley Center's Rebecca Shah and RFP associate director Tim Shah.
Former diplomat and editorial fellow at the Review of Faith & International Affairs Judd Birdsall responds to RFP director Tom Farr's critique of the Obama Administration's handling of religious freedom. Birdsall argues that the administration has shown a strong commitment to the promotion of international religious liberty in both rhetoric and practice.
Tom Farr, Timothy Shah, and Berkley Center students and staff were honored to meet the pontiff on December 14, 2013. The group was in Rome for the Religious Freedom Project's conference: "Christianity and Freedom: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives."
Georgetown.edu | Pope Francis Meets With Georgetown Professors and Students
RFP director Tom Farr spoke to the Washington Post about the vacancy for the State Department's international religious freedom ambassador-at-large and the need the fill the position to address the serious violations of religious freedom around the world.
related article | Tom Farr, "Our Failed Religious Freedom Policy"
Research by Christianity and Freedom initiative scholar Robert Woodberry is the focus of the January/February 2014 cover story of Christianity Today. The article highlights Woodberry’s findings that proselytizing Protestant missionaries heavily influenced the rise and spread of stable democracy around the world.
related | Video of Robert Woodberry's presentation at the Christianity and Freedom conference in Rome
Daily Beast columnist and Fox News Channel contributor, Kirsten Powers referenced the recent Christianity and Freedom Conference in an article outlining the recent increase in global persecution of Christians. Powers served as moderator of a panel on Christian persecution at last month's conference in Rome.
related | Video of Kirsten Powers moderating panel in Rome
Christianity and Freedom scholar Rebecca Shah's work on impoverished women in India is profiled in a new article published by the Catholic News Agency. Shah's findings were presented at a major conference in Rome, Italy last month.
related | Video of Rebecca Shah's presentation in Rome
RFP Director Tom Farr explains why Christianity is of vital importance to the future of the Middle East in an interview with National Catholic Register's Joan Frawly Desmond.
EWTN's Colleen Carroll Campbell interviews RFP Director Tom Farr about the problem of global Christian persecution and the recent Christianity and Freedom conference in Rome.
Tim Shah says the persecution of Christians is happening around the world and has political and economic consequences. He cautions that the West is not totally immune.
related | Washington Times highlights Christianity and Freedom Conference
As part of their discussion of Baylor President Ken Starr's advocacy for religious liberty, the blog Baylor Proud highlights his upcoming address at the Christianity and Freedom Conference, of which Baylor is a supporter.
In an interview with Zenit News Agency, Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako addressed the peril Christian communities face with the rise of sectarian violence across the Middle East, and mentioned his upcoming participation in the Christianity and Freedom Conference.
Tom Farr's essay discussing the shortcomings of U.S. Religious Freedom Policy, and the inadequate implementation of the International Religious Freedom Act, was published in the November issue of First Things. Read the full article here.
At an event moderated by Tom Farr, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, the United Kingdom’s first ever Minister of Faith, argued for a global effort to combat persecution against Christians and other religious minorities.
At a lunch sponsored by the Colson Center during the Evangelical Theological Society conference on November 20, Tom Farr addressed connections between domestic and international religious freedom . To learn more about this event, click here.
On October 2, RFP hosted a discussion on British Christianity with Lord David Alton, Lord Nicholas Windsor and Jan Graffeus of the Christian Heritage Center. Watch video of this event here.
On behalf of the Clements Center, Will Inboden co-organized a day-long scholarly discussion at the NSA to discuss the disparity between the public perception of the agency and its self perception.
> Assyrian International News Agency Quotes Mariz Tadros on the Muslim Brotherhood and Coptic Persecution
In an article published by the Assyrian International News Agency, Christianity and Freedom scholar Mariz Tadros discussed the double discourse the Muslim Brotherhood employed in the persecution of Coptic Christians.
In the National Catholic Register, Tom Farr said of Cardinal Dolan: “The fact that the US Catholic bishops have focused so intensely on religious freedom, both at home and abroad, has been in no small part the result of [his] determination to elevate this issue.”
Tom Farr joined Ave Maria Radio's Kresta in the Afternoon to discuss the recent resignation of the United States Ambassador for Religious Freedom and the need for the Obama administration to reaffirm the United States' commitment to promoting religious liberty.
As part of International Education Week at Messiah College, RFP Project Associate A.J. Nolte presented a lecture on the dangers Syria's Christians face due to the country's ongoing civil war.
Christianity and Freedom scholars Allen Hertzke and Paul Marshall were quoted in a recent Patheos article discussing evangelicals’ political activism on behalf of religious freedom.
Christianity and Freedom scholar Elizabeth Prodromou analyzes what the crackdown against the extremist Golden Dawn Party might mean for democracy in Greece.
Christianity and Freedom scholar Philip Sumpter published an extensive bibliography of publications that deal with Arabophone Christianity in Israel and Palestine.
Tom Farr appeared as a guest expert on Fox News to respond to recent reports about rising restrictions on religious freedom and growing doubts about the White House’s “level of commitment” to this issue.
In his article in The Review of Faith & International Affairs, Christianity and Freedom scholar Fenggang Yang argues that increased scholarly research on religious freedom in China will aid China's transition towards democracy.
RFP scholar Will Inboden discusses important considerations in choosing the next US ambassador for international religious freedom and the progress made since the passage of the IRF Act in a blog post published in the Foreign Policy blog Shadow Government.
In a newly published conference report from the Religious Freedom Project, distinguished Catholic intellectuals including Cardinal Donald Wuerl discuss the meaning of religious freedom within the Catholic tradition.
RFP Associate Director Timothy Shah joined journalists Ross Douthat, Kirsten Powers, and others in a discussion on "Faith, Culture and Religious Liberty," sponsored by the Manhattan Declaration and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention and featuring the new ERLC president, Russell Moore. Video of the discussion is now available on the ERLC website.
Tim Shah will deliver the American Democracy Lecture at Messiah College on Tuesday, October 8. His lecture is entitled “Why Religious Freedom Is a Universal, Necessary and Dangerous Idea."
Christianity and Freedom scholar Paul Marshall addresses a recent string of attacks on Christians in Egypt, Pakistan, and Kenya in an article published by Fox News.
At Baylor University on September 30, Tom Farr addressed the role Christians should play in promoting and protecting religious freedom. Read the speech here.
Daniel Philpott presented a lecture entitled "Today's Christian Martyrs," for Notre Dame's Institute for Church Life on September 28, as part of its year of faith initiative.
Christianity and Freedom scholar Fenggang Yang was elected President of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion for the 2014-2015 academic year.
Christianity and Freedom scholar Mariz Tadros spoke on Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio National about the conflict between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian military.
On Friday October 4, David Novak participated in a panel addressing international perspectives on education and religious freedom, as part of a three-day conference at McGill University in Montreal.
On September 18, Will Inboden spoke about a "New Look at American Foreign Policy" at the Heritage Foundation. Watch video of this event here.
The September/October issue of Foreign Affairs published Christianity and Freedom steering committee member Amaney Jamal’s article “Can Washington Win Over the Arab Street.”
Christianity and Freedom scholar Kyle Harper will present a paper on slavery in late antiquity at a University of Colorado Boulder conference on September 27.
RFP Director Tom Farr spoke with Christianity Today about the resignation of US Ambassador on International Religious Freedom, Suzan Johnson Cook, and the "dramatic opportunities" for strengthening the office and its promotion of religious freedom with the selection of a new ambassador.
Christianity and Freedom scholar Paul Marshall addressed religious freedom implications of Quebec’s new charter of values, which establishes what he describes as a radical form of secularism.
On a podcast of the Orthodox Christian Network, Christianity and Freedom scholar Elizabeth Prodromou addressed the danger Christians face as Syria's conflict becomes increasingly international.
On August 28, Christianity and Freedom scholar Dr. John Rist delivered the keynote address of the 2013 Annual Conference on Christian Philosophy at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, entitled "Must Morality be Grounded in God?".
Christianity and Freedom scholar Mariz Tadros analyzes the post-Morsi backlash against the Copts, arguing it indicates both the rising importance of and threats to Egypt's Christian minority.
In a post for the First Things blog, Christianity and Freedom steering committee member Matt Franck discusses conflicts between same-sex marriage and robust religious freedom.
At this year's Edinburgh International Festival, held on August 29, RFP associate scholar Mona Siddiqui co-presented a discussion on "Making Scholarship Available." She analyzed the issues in conveying research to the media and to a public audience.
Roger Trigg will chair a panel entitled “Stepping Stone to Atheism? The Perils of Agnosticism” at a British Philosophers of Religion Conference at Oriel College, Oxford University, on September 11.
Writing for the Shadow Government blog, RFP scholar Will Inboden criticizes President Obama's diplomatic strategy on Syria, while still urging Congress to authorize the use of force.
The Religious Freedom Project mourns the loss of associate scholar Jean Bethke Elshtain: an intellectual giant, valued colleague and dear friend whose research profoundly shaped the RFP.
In a post on Foreign Policy's blog, RFP associate scholar Will Inboden critiques the Obama administration for failing to robustly integrate a human rights agenda into its foreign policy.
GB Times interviewed Christianity and Freedom scholar Yang Fenggang about the relationship between the free market and the growth of institutional religiosity in China.
The Huffington Post reviewed Christianity and Freedom steering committee member Amaney Jamal's book Empires and Citizens, praising its exhaustive research. The book argues that fear of the negative impact of a democratically elected anti-American opposition movement coming to power leads citizens of many Arab countries to fear democracy.
In an interview broadcasted by the Australian Christian Lobby, RFP associate scholar Roger Trigg criticizes the Final European Court of Appeal’s rejection of three UK cases that made religious freedom claims. You can listen to the audio of the interview here.
On the podcast Secure Freedom Radio, Will Inboden discusses the possibility of a post-Morsi resurgence by Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, and outlines broader challenges Egypt poses for the Obama administration.
Writing in the Washington Post blog "On Faith," RFP research assistant and rising senior at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service Kevin Sullivan argues that creating a vibrant sense of religious community will help resolve Millennials’ ambivalence toward organized religion.
As part of an ongoing series of articles about the need to recast arguments in favor of religious freedom, Hadley Arkes extensively quoted Tom Farr's congressional testimony on the state department's implementation of the International Religious Freedom Act.
In a guest post for the Catholic blog Saint Peter’s List, RFP research assistant Louis Cona offers four suggestions for students interested in maintaining their Catholic faith on a college campus. A Georgetown undergraduate (class of 2015), Louis works with the Religious Freedom Project's Christianity and Freedom Project.
> Religious Freedom: A Conversation with Rick Warren, Robert P. George, and John DiIulio Transcript Now Available
The Religious Freedom Project is pleased to present the full transcript of our February 12 conversation on religious freedom, featuring Pastor Rick Warren and Professors Robert George and John DiIulio.
A new review of Christians, Muslims, and Jesus, in the latest edition of The Economist praises Mona Siddiqui for "ambitiously weav[ing] her personal and scholarly views" throughout the work, which seeks to show how Muslims and Christians have understood and appreciated the figure of Jesus.
Kieran Raval (Georgetown College, 2013), a research assistant with the Religious Freedom Project, examines the claims to, and nature of, a Catholic identity in higher education for the Institute on Religion and Democracy's blog, Juicy Ecumenism.
The Telegraph literary editor Sameer Rahim applauds RFP associate scholar Mona Siddiqui's recent book Christians, Muslims, and Jesus as an important and stimulating effort to bridge doctrinal differences and promote dialogue between Christianity and Islam.
Paul Marshall of the Christianity and Freedom Project is calling on the US government to take action in response to an increase in violent religiously-motivated attacks against Christians in Nigeria.
RFP associate scholar Jean Elshtain was featured in the latest issue of First Things with an essay entitled "On Loyalty."
Ken Blackwell highlights Tom Farr's Congressional testimony in his World magazine article on the importance of religious freedom at the American founding.
Tim Shah delivered the 9th annual AELEX Lecture, entitled In God's Name: Politics, Religion and Economic Development on Thursday, July 25 at 2:00 PM (local time) in Lagos, Nigeria.
RFP Director Tom Farr was quoted extensively on the appointment of Professor Robert P. George as chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. In an article on the National Catholic Register, Dr. Farr praised George for making "sound, cogent and compelling reasons why everyone should support religious freedom, whether they are religious or not.” Farr also highlighted George's close collaboration with the Religious Freedom Project, particularly in his conversations with Shaikh Hamza Yusuf and Rick Warren, sponsored by RFP.
In an article on First Things, George Weigel analyzes RFP Director Tom Farr's recent testimony before Congress on the state of US foreign policy on religious freedom, which, Weigel agrees, is in need of serious strengthening.
In an essay on Foreign Policy's Shadow Government blog, Will Inboden explains the four strategic conflicts currently underway in the Middle East: great power, regional power, religious and ideological. He recommends a US focus on Egypt and Iran, and the promotion of religious freedom throughout the region.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation interviewed Tom Farr about Canada’s grant of asylum to a fourteen-year-old girl accused of blasphemy in Pakistan, and her family.
In an article published in the Public Discourse, Roger Trigg discusses the increasing marginalization of religious freedom in Europe, in light of recent European high court decisions. Trigg compares the state of religious freedom in Europe unfavorably to the American model, and warns against French-style secularism.
> Daniel Philpott Interviewed by Council on Foreign Relations Regarding the Role of Religion in the Syrian Conflict
In an interview with the Council on Foreign Relations, Daniel Philpott explained the role of religion in Syria's conflict, the role it might play in post-conflict reconciliation, and the need for greater understanding of religion in the US foreign policy community.
In a National Review Online op-ed, and a subsequent blog post, Tom Farr argued that promoting religious freedom is more effective than railing against blasphemy laws and extremist shariah.
In a presentation at the 2013 Lausanne Global Leadership Forum in India, Timothy Shah outlined a clear definition of religious freedom, and noted rising global restrictions on this key liberty.
In an article published in the Journal of Law, Religion, and State, Daniel Philpott assessed the landscape of religious freedom across the Muslim world.
Indian news outlet Zeenews quoted Tom Farr's House Oversight Committee testimony in a recent story on controversial Indian politician Narendra Modi. Referring to the violence in Gujarat, for which many hold Modi partially responsible, Farr argued for retaining the visa restriction, but carefully reconsidering the issue should Modi become Prime Minister.
In his chapter in the new book Religion, Intolerance, and Conflict: A Scientific and Conceptual Investigation, Roger Trigg argues that religious tendencies are imbedded in human nature, and therefore specific political protection for religious exercise is necessary for successful democratic society.
Will Inboden compared speeches by Senators Rand Paul and Marco Rubio, both of which advocated greater US support for religious minorities. Inboden critiqued Senator Paul's non-interventionism, arguing that Rubio presented a better framework for addressing religious freedom in U.S. foreign policy.
Tom Farr, in testimony on Capitol Hill, discusses why the United States should promote religious freedom abroad and better integrate America's "first freedom" into its foreign policy.
> RFP Highlights Religious Freedom in the United States and Europe at National Religious Freedom Conference
Writing in the Touro Law Review, RFP Scholar David Novak offered his thoughts on Sanford Levinson’s “Divided Loyalties: The Problem of ‘Dual Sovereignty’ and Constitutional Faith.” His comments revolve around the relationship between God's law, natural law, and secular law.
Tim Shah and other RFP scholars explore how religion has shaped the international system of states and international relations theory and its role in contemporary international relations. Their essays are part of a new report published by the University of Notre Dame.
In her new book Christians, Muslims and Jesus, Mona Siddiqui examines Jesus as both a uniting and dividing figure for Christianity and Islam, through an exploration of important historical Christian and Islamic sources.
In a recently published article in the journal Diplomatic History, Will Inboden traces the development of Reinhold Niebuhr's theory of Christian realism, describes its influence on US foreign relations, and explores the link between religious freedom and Niebuhr's prophetic vision.
In an article in the Deseret News on the 2013 State Department religious freedom report, Tim Shah discussed the discouraging trend of worsening restrictions on religious freedom, and the positive link between religious freedom and peace, stability and democratization.
In an article about blasphemy laws, RFP director Tom Farr made the case that religious freedom can prevent violent religious extremism, and asked readers to imagine a world in which Osama Bin-Laden had grown up in a free society, and exposed to a wider variety of religious ideas.
In a lecture delivered on May 8, RFP scholar Roger Trigg explored the links between the increasing marginalization of religion in many western societies, and philosophers of religion who reduce religious belief to something subjective, which can not be established as universally true or false.
On April 25, Roger Trigg addressed a conference held at the Iona Institute in Dublin on the contributions of Christianity to the West, and Ireland in particular. Audio of Dr. Trigg's address, which focused on Christianity and human rights, can be found here.
Tom Farr addressed the question of whether there are limits to religious freedom on which religions can agree at the 2013 Common Word Conference, held at Georgetown University on April 24. Video of his presentation can be found here.
In an article entitled "Is Religious Freedom Special?" Roger Trigg argues that religious freedom is not merely special pleading for religion, but vital for the preservation of free societies, and increasingly under threat in Europe.
RFP director Tom Farr appeared on the EWTN show Around the World with Raymond Arroyo to address the link between the absence of religious freedom and the rise of terrorism and violent religious extremism.
RFP associate director Timothy Shah presented the paper, "Religious Freedom, Democratization, and Economic Development," co-authored by Anthony Gill, to the Annual Meeting of the Association for the Study of Religion, Economics, and Culture (ASREC) in Washington, DC on April 13, 2013.
The Library of Congress has named Jean Elshtain it's 2013 Kluge Chair in Modern Culture. Dr. Elshtain will spend five months at the Library of Congress, conducting research on her upcoming book on the cultural role of modern film.
In an interview with EWTN about the recent kidnapping of two Syrian bishops, Tom Farr called for a more proactive US foreign policy on religious freedom, which would replace statements of condemnation with positive action to help countries institutionalize this beneficial liberty.
RFP scholar Mona Siddiqui was chosen in February as one of the new editors of Brill's online Encyclopedia of the Qur'an. This project, produced by the International Qur'anic Studies Association, will produce ongoing supplements to their current print and online versions.
Writing for The Scotsman, Stuart Kelly described Mona Siddiqui's forthcoming book Christians, Muslims and Jesus as "a significant work of inter-faith understanding," which "offers an important model of how such theological dialogues might ideally be conducted without either bigoted intransigence or relativistic self-censoring.”
In a new essay published in the most recent issue of the Journal of Faith and International Affairs, Daniel Philpott argues for the integral connection between religious freedom and peacebuilding.
RFP director Tom Farr's lecture for the Knights of Columbus international symposium, Voices: The Lay State and Religious Liberty, was recently published in a new Spanish translation.
In a new essay, RFP scholar Daniel Philpott offers predictions on Pope Francis' future leadership on religious freedom, and strategies he might use to highlight this critical issue.
Christianity and Freedom scholar Elizabeth Prodromou contrasts the freedom surrounding the election of Pope Francis with the persecution experienced by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
In a provocative and wide-ranging conversation sponsored by RFP, Pastor Rick Warren and Professors Robert George and John DiIulio discussed the importance of religious freedom.
RFP scholar Mona Siddiqui delivered her inaugural lecture, entitled Law and Love in Christianity and Islam, on March 4 at Edinburgh University. Professor Siddiqui addressed the similarities and differences between Christian and Muslim conceptions of divine love, law and scripture.
Thomas Farr and Daniel Philpott spoke on religion and foreign policy and religious peace-building at a Catholic University of America conference on "Pacem in Terris at Fifty" April 9 and 10.
At the 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference, RFP director Tom Farr participated in a workshop entitled "Religious Freedom: a Winning Issue for Conservatives." The workshop also featured Representative Diane Black and Rabbi Aryeh Spero and was held on Friday, March 15.
On March 6, RFP director Thomas Farr delivered the Annual True Family Lecture on Catholic thought at Oklahoma University. Dr. Farr's lecture, entitled "Christians May Dance No Longer," highlighted the urgent need for Christians in the West to speak out on behalf of persecuted Christians and other religious minorities.
In a recent interview, Christianity and Freedom Project co-chair Allen Hertzke described his new book The Future of Religious Freedom: Global Challenges. He explained both the dangers of rising threats to religious freedom and its positive contributions to political development and security.
Writing in response to the recent public conversation between Pastor Rick Warren and RFP Associate Director Timothy Shah, Interfaith Service at Georgetown blogger Trishla Jain reflected that Pastor Warren changed the way she thought about healthcare in the developing world and its relationship to religious freedom.
On February 21-23, the John Paul Institute at The Catholic University of America held a conference entitled “Dignitatis Humanae and the Recovery of Religious Freedom”, featuring a video keynote by Cardinal Angelo Scola. RFP Associate Director Timothy Shah moderated a panel at the conference, focusing on Dignitatis Humanae and the common good.
> Tim Shah Delivers Public Lecture on the Conceptual Roots of Religious Freedom at Rutgers University
On February 21, RFP Associate Director Timothy Shah delivered a public lecture at Rutgers University, in which he addressed the conceptual roots of religious freedom in the Christian tradition. Dr. Shah also led an afternoon faculty seminar on universal human rights in the thought of the church fathers.
Commenting on the Religious Freedom Project's public event with Pastor Rick Warren, journalist Katherine Lopez of National Review Online described it as a "shadow SOTU." Lopez praised Warren and RFP Associate Director Tim Shah for their forceful discussion of religious freedom, particularly the HHS mandate.
> Roger Trigg Argues Christians' Rights Are More Likely to be Challenged in Europe than Other Faiths
In response to a recent European court decision against 3 Christian religious freedom claims, RFP scholar Roger Trigg argued European judges often falsely believe they understand what is and is not a core belief of Christianity, leading them to challenge the rights of Christians more than Muslims or Sikhs.
RFP scholar Daniel Philpott will give the introductory lecture of the National Cathedral's lenten series on reconciliation, on Sunday, February 17 at 10:10 A.M. Dr. Philpott's lecture will focus on his research into the role political reconciliation can play in promoting peace and justice after genocide and civil war.
Noted Jewish theologian and RFP scholar David Novak paid tribute to Pope Benedict Tuesday on his blog First Thoughts. Novak praised the Pope’s focus on Biblicism in Catholic theology and expressed his hope for a personal theological dialogue after his resignation.
RFP director Thomas Farr will deliver the annual True Family Lecture at the University of Oklahoma on March 6. This lecture has previously featured Catholic thought leaders such as Avery Cardinal Dulles and George Weigel. Dr. Farr’s lecture will be entitled “Christians May Dance No Longer: The Global Crisis in Religious Freedom.”
In a recent article in Foreign Policy, RFP scholar William Inboden criticized Senator Rand Paul's foreign policy vision as a return to non-interventionism.
RFP director Thomas Farr joined an Amicus Curiae brief filed with the Supreme Court. The brief cites the court's precedent of allowing the democratic process to play out on contentious social issues to argue against "recognition of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage."
The influential evangelical magazine Christianity Today chose Just and Unjust Peace by RFP scholar Daniel Philpott for its “2013 book award” in the mission/global affairs category. In total, 10 winners and 9 notables were selected from over 455 titles submitted by 68 publishers.
RFP associate scholar Roger Trigg analyzes four major decisions recently handed down from the European Court of Human Rights involving religious freedom.
Rick Warren, best-selling author of The Purpose Driven Life and founding pastor of Saddleback Church, spoke with Timothy Shah about religious freedom and faith-based solutions to some of today's most pressing problems.
related | event video
RFP director Tom Farr debated the question, “Is the Promotion of International LGBT Rights Given Greater Priority than the Promotion of International Religious Freedom?” among a panel of scholars assembled by the group Common Sense Society.
RFP associate scholar Mona Siddiqui has edited a new book, The Routledge Reader on Christian-Muslim Relations. The book includes an introductory chapter by Siddiqui with historical and contemporary contributions from key scholars engaged in Christian/Muslim dialogue.
RFP associate scholar Daniel Philpott addresses the controversial HHS mandate and its implications for the status of American religious freedom.
Explore the origins and development of religious freedom in the Christian tradition using the Religious Freedom Project’s interactive online sourcebook containing literature and primary documents.
Join the Religious Freedom Project as it launches a two-year exploration of Christianity’s contributions to the construction and diffusion of freedom. RSVP today!
In a Family Research Council webcast titled "The Cry of the Martyrs," RFP director Tom Farr discusses the ongoing assaults to religious liberty around the world.
RFP scholar Roger Trigg discussed the topic "Is Belief in God a Basic Instinct?" in a segment of the UK's Channel 4 program, "4Thought," a program dedicated to questions of faith, morals, religion, and ethics.
RFP associate director Timothy Shah spoke at a major conference on Christian martyrdom, emphasizing the positive contributions that persecuted and martyred Christians have made to freedom throughout history and indeed, continue to make today.
RFP director Tom Farr will speak at a conference on "The Status of the Christian Communities in Iraqi Kurdistan: Challenges and Opportunities," sponsored by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom and the Catholic University of America Law School, December 5, 2012.
Major Catholic journalist John Allen reports on the increasingly problematic issue of the global persecution of Christians, highlighting the work of RFP director Tom Farr presented at a recent conference at Notre Dame.
RFP director Tom Farr and other Catholic writers responded to the 2012 election results in an online symposium published by Aleteia.
Scholars from Europe and North America debate emerging conflicts for religious liberty arising from a greater emphasis on equality claims in a new report from the RFP's April 2012 symposium at Oxford University
Of God's Century Michael Emerson writes, "Rarely is a book written that has the potential to save and improve the lives of millions of people. This is such a book."
RFP director Tom Farr and associate director Timothy Shah join scholars and religious leaders from around the world to address the growing problem of widespread persecution of Christians around the world.
BBC Radio's "Desert Island Discs," one of its longest running shows, interviewed RFP scholar Mona Siddiqui. Siddiqui discussed themes from her life and her unique role in academia.
Experts from government and across the country examine the role religious freedom should play in Arab Spring countries in a new report from the RFP's March 2012 symposium.
On Wednesday, October 24th, the RFP hosted a discussion of two books which chronicle the history of religion’s role in American foreign policy, and speculate about future threats to religious liberty. Andrew Preston, author of Sword of the Spirit, Shield of the Faith, and Gerard Bradley, editor of Challenges to Religious Liberty in the Twenty-First Century led the exciting discussions on these new works.
Top scholars discuss the sources of religious freedom in the West, its universality, and whether the American context is unique in a new report detailing the RFP's November 2011 symposium.
In this book review of Religious Liberty, Why Now? Defending an Embattled Human Right principally authored by RFP associate director Timothy Shah, Francis Beckwith praises the work's call to look to the practical implications of religious freedom being attacked.
The Hoover Institution’s Policy Review on October 2 published an article by William Inboden on the links between religious freedom and national security. Titled “Religious Freedom and National Security,” the article draws correlations between religious persecution and security threats, and argues for a much more substantial role for religious liberty as a component of national security strategy.
RFP director Tom Farr writes about a new report of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life which details the troubling rise in global restrictions on religion.
RFP director Tom Farr spoke at a conference on "International Religious Freedom: An Imperative for Peace and the Common Good," held at the Catholic University of America on September 12, 2012.
RFP scholar Mona Siddiqui talks about a surprise resolution to a Pakistani blasphemy case on BBC Radio's Thought for the Day segment.
Discussing his new book Equality, Freedom, and Religion, RFP scholar Roger Trigg answers questions from Theos Think Tank on why he wrote the book and the major challenges facing state-religion interactions today.
Big Questions Online asks Thomas Farr, "Is Religious Freedom Necessary for Other Freedoms to Flourish?" In his response, Farr examines the possible links between religious freedom and other important human freedoms.
Appearing in Embassy Magazine, Canada's "Foreign Policy Newspaper," on August 9, 2012, RFP director Tom Farr discusses the important ambassador choice for Canada's new religious freedom office.
RFP scholar Mona Siddiqui offers a reflection on non-violence for BBC's Thought of the Day in light of the recent shooting in Aurora, Colorado and last year's shooting in Norway.
Religious Freedom Project director Tom Farr critically examines the new State Department report on International Religious Freedom. The annual report outlines the status of religious freedom in 199 countries and identifies countries of particular concern where religious freedom rights are severely violated.
RFP associate scholar Will Inboden addresses the under-reported situation of Mali deterioration, including troubling accounts of religious persecutions throughout the country.
Published in the June/July 2012 issue of First Things, RFP scholar Daniel Philpott discusses the problems with the current model for seeking post-genocidal justice in his article titled "Peace After Genocide."
Discussing the International Criminal Court's sentencing of Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga, RFP Scholar Daniel Philpott argues that the prosecution did not go far enough.
RFP scholar Daniel Philpott writes about the need for reconciliation in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.
Featured in Christianity Today, RFP associate director Timothy Shah reflects on the connections between Catholic Saints, Catholic Church Fathers, and the Founding Fathers as the "Fortnight for Freedom" comes to a close.
RFP director Tom Farr writes about the importance of religious freedom to US foreign policy, encouraging the United States and Western Europe to do more in promoting this basic human right around the world.
RFP associate director Timothy Shah and RFP director Tom Farr discuss the new publication Religious Freedom: Why Now? Defending an Embattled Human Right and provide a summary of its major findings and arguments.
On Thursday, June 28, the RFP hosted a public forum on religious liberty and the HHS contraceptive mandate at Georgetown University’s Gaston Hall.
In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, do Middle Eastern nations need a new relationship between religion and state? On May 14, Georgetown University's Religious Freedom Project held a policy briefing with top experts designed to identify specific policy lessons concerning religion's future political role in Arab Spring countries.
Speaking about Egypt and Hosni Mubarak's prison sentence, RFP scholar Mona Siddiqui looks to Qur'anic quotations on BBC Radio's "Thought for the Day" segment.
Speaking at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops' annual conference, RFP director Tom Farr noted the theological and intellectual roots of religious freedom while providing an overview of the challenges to religious freedom around the world.
In her new book The Good Muslim: Reflections on Classical Islamic Law and Theology , RFP scholar Mona Siddiqui explores the Islamic tradition's rich history of thought on a number of key ethical topics.
RFP scholar William Inboden is quoted in the New York Times about Barack Obama's understanding of the lessons of the Vietnam War.
Speaking at the 2012 National Religious Freedom Conference on May 24th, 2012, RFP director Tom Farr delivered a speech entitled "Rising Threats to American Religious Freedom: Framing the Problem."
In an article on war termination and reconciliation in Thailand, the Asia Times references the work of RFP scholar Monica Duffy Toft.
The widely viewed Kony 2012 video has raised awareness of the atrocities of Uganda's Joseph Kony. But as RFP scholar Dan Philpott points out in The Huffington Post, the video does not show the decades long work of reconciliation that many Ugandans, inspired by their Christian faith and tribal values, have been working to achieve.
The latest in modern social networking has focused enormous attention on the crimes of Joseph Kony. But the peace-making resources of ancient religious and tribal traditions offer the only way to heal the wounds he has inflicted.
> Watch Video of Bishop Philip Tartaglia's Keynote Address, "Religious Freedom - An Unexpected Issue for Our Times?"
The Roman Catholic Bishop of Paisley, Scotland, Philip Tartaglia, delivers the keynote address for the Religious Freedom Project's international conference, Religious Freedom and Equality: Emerging Conflicts in North America and Europe held at the University of Oxford, April 11-13, 2012.
RFP scholar Daniel Philpott releases a documentary film with the Fetzer Institute about the aftermath of the Lord’s Resistance Army and the role of the Church in the reconciliation process in Uganda. Uganda: The Challenge of Forgiveness consists of interviews conducted by Philpott with Ugandan leaders discussing the civil war and their post-LRA country.
RFP scholar Dan Philpott is interviewed on FoxNews about the release of a new documentary film, Uganda: The Challenge of Forgiveness. Philpott produced the film, which focuses on the rebuilding of communities through a spirit of reconciliation, with the Fetzer Institute.
RFP director Tom Farr is interviewed on CSPAN's Book-TV program about his book World of Faith And Freedom: Why International Religious Liberty is Vital to American National Security. Farr discusses how religious freedom, as a fundamental human right, is under siege around the world and he addresses the various challenges to international religious freedom.
LSU Political Scientist James Stoner reviews the new book, Religious Freedom: Why Now? principally authored by Religious Freedom Project associate director Timothy Shah. In his review, Stoner notes the timeliness of the new book and praises its multi-layered approach to the defense of religious liberty.
On Thursday, March 22 the Religious Freedom Project convened a group of leading legal scholars to discuss the tensions between the HHS mandate for contraceptive and other services and religious liberty. The informative discussion can now be viewed online.
Amid the death of Egyptian Coptic Pope Shenouda III, people are questioning how safe the Coptic Christians in Egypt now are. RFP director Tom Farr explores how the Coptic minority in Egypt has been affected by Pope Shenouda III’s death and how the Egyptian society must approach these religious minorities in order to foster a stable democracy in post-revolution Egypt.
RFP associate director Timothy Shah speaks with Anthony Gill about his new book Religious Freedom: Why Now? The interview touches on the importance of religious freedom as a fundamental human right and as a key objective for foreign policy makers.
C-SPAN news live-streamed and broadcasted the Religious Freedom Project's symposium on "Religious Freedom and Extremism: Lessons from the Arab Spring." A brief synopsis of the event and the network's video of it are available at C-SPAN's web site.
National Catholic Register senior editor Joan Frawley Desmond, covering the release of "In Defense of Religious Freedom" by Evangelicals and Catholics Together, mentions Religious Freedom Project director Thomas Farr and associate director Timothy Samuel Shah's comments at the RFP's March 1 event on religious freedom.
Religious Freedom Project scholar Mona Siddiqui gave a "Thought for the Day" on BBC Radio 4. Considering a colleague's remark about caring for her mother, who is suffering from dementia, Professor Siddiqui pondered the tension between the religious desire for the good of the afterlife with the human desire to hold on to this life.
Writing in Patheos.com's "Black, White and Gray" blog, Margarita Mooney covers the Religious Freedom Project's event on March 1st celebrating the publication of Religious Freedom: Why Now? Defending an Embattled Human Right . Mooney offers a synopsis of the event and engages with the ideas of Princeton professor Robert George's keynote address.
In his popular Council on Foreign Relations blog, "The Arab Street," CFR Senior Fellow Ed Husain discusses the Religious Freedom Project event, Religious Freedom: Why Now and the dinner that evening which featured Shaykh Hamza Yusuf in conversation with Robert P. George.
In this broadcast discussion, RFP scholar Roger Trigg explains the encroachment that secularization has caused on religious freedom in the public life. Affirming that religious freedom implies freedom for religious expression, Trigg insists that people of religious faith ought to be protected from coercion against their conscience.
RFP director Tom Farr speaks out against the recent ruling sustaining the overturning of Proposition 8, the California initiative to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Farr explains that the ruling is not based on democratic process and it infringes upon the religious freedom of millions of citizens who voted to protect marriage on religious grounds.
> Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum Signs Religious Freedom Pledge Drafted by RFP Director Tom Farr
Presidential Candidate Rick Santorum is the first candidate to sign the Presidential Pledge for Religious Freedom drafted by RFP director Thomas Farr and Open Doors USA. The pledge is a commitment by presidential candidates to protect religious freedom in full in America and advance religious freedom as part of American foreign policy.
> Fitchburg State University Invites RFP Scholar Monica Duffy Toft for International Studies Speaker Series
Harvard University Associate Professor and RFP scholar Monica Duffy Toft spoke on "resurgent religion, global politics and conflict resolution" as part of the International Studies Speaker series at Fitchburg State University on February 6th, 2012.
Religious Freedom Project director Thomas Farr explains in a recent interview with Columbia magazine that international religious freedom is in a moment of "global crisis" and that it is imperative that the United States stand up for this "first freedom" around the world
RFP scholar Daniel Philpott recently traveled to Uganda to conduct research on the role of forgiveness in the peace building process. While forgiveness can be under recognized in the peace building process, Philpott shows the role of reconciliation in the wake of the civil war between the LRA and the Ugandan government.
On Monday, February 13, philosopher and RFP scholar Roger Trigg will discuss his new book, Equality, Freedom, and Religion (Oxford, 2012), which raises the question of whether any freedom can be preserved for long if the basic human right to religious liberty is subordinated to other social concerns (particularly to the pursuit of equality). Responding to the book will be William Galston and Helen Alvaré.
> Catholic News Agency Quotes RFP Director Tom Farr on the Obama Administration's Stance Towards Religious Freedom
RFP director Tom Farr criticizes the Obama administration's recent ruling that religious-based employers must provide certain forms of contraception to their employees even if such actions violate the religion's moral beliefs.
The British newspaper The Telegraph features RFP scholar Roger Trigg’s argument that the courts have been curtailing religious freedoms in favor of other social issues. Trigg promotes the idea of there being reasonable accommodation for religion and that the courts should not take it upon themselves to decide what are or aren’t core values of religion.
RFP director Tom Farr speaks with Joan Frawley Desmond of the National Catholic Register about the Obama Administration's mandate that employers, including church-affiliated hospitals, agencies and universities, offer contraception and sterilization in their employee health care plans.
RFP scholar Will Inboden looks at recent decisions of the Obama administration on religious liberty and asks, "Is the White House Trying to Turn America into France?" at the Foreign Policy blog Shadow Government
Joan Frawley Desmond of the National Catholic Register speaks with Tom Farr on a number of recent issues related to religious freedom including the just released open letter "Marriage and Religious Freedom: Fundamental Goods that Stand or Fall Together," signed by representatives of Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, and Sikh faiths.
What is the effect of blasphemy and apostasy laws on basic political freedoms of Muslim-majority countries? What happens when Western governments and bodies like the United Nations begin passing similarly motivated restrictions on speech? These and other questions will be addressed by Paul Marshall and Nina Shea as they discuss their new book, Silenced: How Apostasy and Blasphemy Codes are Choking Freedom Worldwide at a Religious Freedom Project event on Tuesday, January 31, 2012.
The Canadian government's decision to open a new office of religious freedom has not been without controversy. Yet in this Globe and Mail editorial, the author argues that the global rise in religious persecution warrants sustained attention. RFP director Tom Farr is quoted on the important connection between religious freedom and issues of justice and human dignity.
The New York Times featured RFP associate director Tim Shah and director Tom Farr in a special "Room for Debate," centered around the question, "Is Americans' Religious Freedom Under Threat?" The feature also included pieces from Noah Feldman and Michael McConnell who recently debated the question "What's So Special about Religious Freedom?" at the RFP's November 17th conference.
Renowned sociologist of religion David Martin reviews God's Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics, co-authored by RFP scholars Monica Duffy Toft, Daniel Philpott, and Timothy Samuel Shah for the Times Literary Supplement.
With the war in Iraq now officially ended, RFP scholar Monica Duffy Toft addresses some of the challenges the country faces in going forward.
Noted photographer Verena Jaekel's portraiture work of Scottish families is on display at the National Gallery of Scotland. The exhibit features a portrait of RFP scholar Mona Siddiqui and her family at their home in Dullatur, Scotland.
> University of Edinburgh Appoints RFP Scholar Mona Siddiqui as New Professor of Islamic and Inter-religious Studies
RFP scholar Mona Siddiqui is the first Muslim to be appointed to the University of Edinburgh's School of Divinity where she will teach on and research Islamic theology, ethics, and Christian-Muslim relations. Siddiqui will also be the first to hold the post of Assistant Principal for Religion and Society, allowing her to continue working in the areas of religion and public life.
The National Catholic Register discusses the Religious Freedom Project's public symposium, What's So Special About Religious Freedom, held at Georgetown University on November 17. The debate featured Michael McConnell of Stanford University Law School and Noah Feldman of Harvard University Law School.
RFP scholar Jean Bethke Elshtain will be the fifth recipient of the annual Rev. James V. Schall, S.J. Award for Teaching and Humane Letters, presented by the Tocqueville Forum at Georgetown University. The award seeks to recognize individuals who "exemplify the excellence, scholarly breadth, and impact of Father James V. Schall, S.J., Professor of Government at Georgetown University."
In a post on Foreign Policy's "Shadow Government," RFP scholar Will Inboden offers praise for President Obama's recent World AIDS Day speech, which acknowledged the many contributions to fighting AIDS made by the previous administration.
"The Religious Freedom Project of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs offers a vital forum for the discussion of religious liberty and its role in ensuring the dignity of the human person...." Read more!
In an editorial for the Australian Broadcasting Company, RFP Scholar David Novak addresses the topic of same-sex marriage and whether or not there is a "right" for same-sex couples to marry.
RFP Director Tom Farr, who co-authored the Presidential Pledge for Religious Freedom, discusses the importance of religious freedom in American foreign and domestic policy and expresses his hope that the pledge would encourage 2012 presidential candidates from all parties to address this increasingly important issue.
RFP Scholar Mona Siddiqui, OBE, is profiled in the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office's video series See Britain Through My Eyes. In the interview, Siddiqui discusses moving to the UK from Pakistan as a young girl, the development of her academic interest in Islamic law and theology, and raising a family in her home just outside of Glasgow Scotland.
The Royal Society of Canada is a national body of distinguished Canadian scholars established to recognize academic excellence and outstanding contributions to Canadian culture. RFP Scholar David Novak was honored for his research in natural law theory, Jewish-Christian relations and biomedical ethics.
On Thursday, November 10, RFP Scholar Mona Siddiqui, OBE, presented the final lecture for the St. Wilfrid series at North Yorkshire's historic Ripon Cathedral. Her lecture, "Islam and the Question of a Loving God," examined how the different scriptural resources in Islam and Christianity have developed alternative discourses on divine love within each religious tradition.
RFP Associate Director and Scholar in Residence, Timothy Shah, will speak at the Notre Dame Center for Ethics & Culture's conference on "Radical Emancipation." Professor Shah will participate on the panel, "March of the Jacobins: The Global Rise and Decline of Political Secularism," drawing on research from his book (co-authored with RFP Scholars Dan Philpott and Monica Duffy Toft), God's Century.
As Congress decides whether or not to re-fund the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, RFP Director Tom Farr speaks with Christianity Today about the signal such a move would send to those regimes guilty of violating religious freedom.
RFP Associate Scholar Jean Bethke Elshtain responds to the question "What exactly would a Christian platform look like?" for the New York Times column "Room for Debate." In her essay, "Why Prefer Christians?" Professor Elshtain argues that Christians can share broad principles and yet disagree on the policies meant to implement them.
As the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs begins to construct its new office for religious freedom, the National Post interviewed RFP director Tom Farr, who recently spoke at a consultation on the new Canadian office, about the success and failures of the American model.
> Catholic News Agency Quotes RFP Director Tom Farr on Funding the US Commission on International Religious Freedom
Despite an overwhelming vote in the House to continue funding for the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, the bill has been stalled in the Senate by the placement of an anonymous "hold" on the legislation. Catholic News Agency speaks with Tom Farr about the funding crisis and the continued importance of religious freedom to US foreign policy.
Religious Freedom Project Associate Scholar Monica Duffy Toft will give the annual Wold Lecture at Union College on Tuesday, October 25. Toft will discuss the global resurgence of religion, a phenomenon she and co-authors Dan Philpott and Tim Shah researched in their recent book "God's Century."
The recent increase in attacks against the Coptic Christian community in Egypt have highlighted the importance of religious freedom as the country moves towards democracy. Interfaith Voices, the public radio news program on religion news, speaks with RFP Director Tom Farr about the situation and the approach towards religion the new Egyptian government should take.
Following the release of the recent State Department report on International Religious Freedom, RFP Director Tom Farr joins a spirited discussion on "Voice of Russia" Radio about the report and the particular items of concern listed for Russia.
The government of Canada has decided to establish an Office of International Religious Freedom. The Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade had requested RFP Director Tom Farr to appear at a public forum in Ottawa to discuss the establishment of the office and its mission.
Tom Farr reviews the book The Price of Freedom Denied, in the latest edition of the Journal of Church and State. The book, co-authored by Brian Grim and Roger Finke, investigates the complex interrelations between religious repression, that is the denial of the right to religious freedom, and social hostilities throughout the world.
As the world again turns its focus to the possibility of peace in the Middle East, Voice of America asks Religious Freedom Project scholars Timothy Shah and Monica Duffy Toft about the roles, positive and negative, that religious actors can play in bringing about stability and peace to the region.
Would 9/11 have happened if Osama Bin Laden had been raised in a Saudi Arabia that allowed for religious freedom? Instead of the toxic teachings of Wahhabism and Sayyid Qutb, what if he had been exposed to other forms of Islam, to critics of Islam, and to liberal religion-based arguments about justice and the common good?
Roger Trigg argues that since humans are naturally inclined towards religious belief, the subject of religion cannot be ignored but must be part of the public discourse. A proper defense of religious freedom requires more than just state neutrality in religious affairs, and needs a robust commitment to religious liberty.
> RFP Scholar Monica Duffy Toft Writes "Why a Rebel Victory in Libya is Better than a Negotiated Settlement"
> RFP Scholars Daniel Philpott, Timothy Shah, and Monica Duffy Toft Argue Against "The Dangers of Secularism in the Middle East"
> Event Announcement (Friday, July 29): RFP Associate Director Timothy Shah and Associate Scholars Daniel Philpott and Monica Toft Discuss the Interplay Between Religious Freedom, Extremism, and Security
> RFP Director Tom Farr Quoted in Article on State Department Efforts to Encourage Religious Freedom
The Huffington post quotes Religious Freedom Project director Tom Farr on the importance of religious freedom in developing US Foreign Policy and Foreign Service training. Farr has advocated that religion should play a greater role in American diplomacy.
> Journal of Church and State reviews "God and Global Order," an edited volume with contributions from Tom Farr and Dan Philpott
Religious Freedom Project Director Thomas F. Farr spoke at the National Press Club on the "Minority Religious Communities at Risk" report. The report, published by the First Freedom Center, focuses attention on eight religious minority communities most at risk around the world today.
Religious Freedom Project Associate Scholar Mona Siddiqui has been named an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) as part of the 2011 Queen’s Honours List in recognition for her outstanding services to inter-faith relations.
Religious Freedom Project Director Thomas Farr is interviewed by Professor Anthony Gill for the “Research on Religion Podcast.” Tom Farr discusses his experience at the State Department Office of International Religious Freedom and the importance of religious liberty to American foreign policy.
Religious Freedom Project Director Tom Farr testifies on "Prioritizing International Religious Freedom in U.S. Foreign Policy" before the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights.
> RFP Scholars Monica Duffy Toft, Dan Philpott, and Timothy Shah Discuss their New Book "God's Century" with New Hampshire Public Radio
> Tom Farr Comments on Obama’s Olive Branch Doctrine: Interfaith Tolerance & the Reshaping of U.S. Foreign Policy
> Listen to RFP Scholars Monica Duffy Toft, Daniel Philpott, and Timothy Shah Discuss Their New Book, God's Century
> Farr Joins Nonpartisan Letter to Senate Demanding Attention to US International Religious Freedom Policy
The Center's Tom Farr weighs in on the running religious freedom debate on the blog of the Social Science Research Council. He argues that protests in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East underscore the centrality of religious liberty for US foreign policy.
Egyptian Copts murdered while at worship. Mass protests demanding an end to authoritarian regimes. The threat of religious extremists gaining political power in Egypt, Tunisia, Jordan, Yemen, and elsewhere in the Middle East. As the Middle Eastern cauldron of democratic and religious ideas and actors threatens to boil over, the US quite literally has no one in charge of its policy of advancing international religious freedom.
In an address at the University of St. Thomas in Houston on November 11, 2010, Farr addressed the intersection of religious freedom, American interests, and the life and legacy of John Paul II.
Professor Thomas F. Farr contributes to the Public Discourse: Ethics, Law, and the Common Good, an online publication of the Witherspoon Institute, which seeks to enhance the public understanding of the moral foundations of free societies by making the scholarship of the fellows and affiliated scholars of the Institute available and accessible to a general audience.
> Listen In!: RFP Scholar Roger Trigg on Religious Freedom and Human Rights at Iona Institute Conference
RFP Scholar Roger Trigg discusses the emerging conflict between conceptions of “human rights” and religious freedom at a conference hosted by the Iona Institute in October 2010. His talk warns of aggressive secularism’s attempt to remove religion from the public square.
> Is Religious Freedom Incompatible with Human Rights? "No," RFP Scholar Roger Trigg Says in the "Irish Times"
In an essay at publicdiscourse.com, the Center's Thomas Farr criticizes those who would dismiss critics of the Manhattan mosque project as extremists.
Center Senior Fellow Tom Farr's article "A Freedom Deferred" led off America's special issue on religion and international affairs. Prof. Farr makes the persuasive case that the United States must be more vigorous in its promotion of religious liberty abroad.
The Obama administration recently nominated Suzan Johnson Cook as the U.S. ambassador at large for international religious freedom. It appears that the policy she has been nominated to lead is being sidelined...
The United States' 12-year-old policy of advancing religious freedom abroad has received a fair amount of attention in recent months, but the Obama administration has yet to take up the issue. In a recent piece in Foreign Policy magazine, the Center's Tom Farr criticizes the administration's failure to nominate a candidate for the position of ambassador at large for international religious freedom.
Ray Suarez and Tom Farr discuss the whys, hows and trade-offs in promoting international religious freedom during this segment of The First Freedom - an America Abroad Media program.
Kim Lawton interviewed the Center's Tom Farr on the Obama Administration's failure to fill the position of Religious Freedom ambassador more than one year into its first term.
A 1998 law mandates that the US government have an Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom to advance religious liberty around the world as part of American foreign policy. But the Obama administration still has not appointed anyone to this post, even though in his landmark speech to the Muslim world from Cairo in June 2009 President Obama said religious freedom is an American priority. Thomas Farr, associate professor of religion and international affairs at Georgetown University and former director of the State Department's Office of International Religious Freedom, discusses his concerns about Obama's lack of action, the qualities he would like to see in the ambassador, and the importance of the office to US foreign policy.
On Monday, March 1, the Center's Tom Farr spoke at a lunch roundtable on the topic: "Is US Promotion of Religious Freedom Imperialistic?" The event was sponsored by the School for Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
Center Senior Fellow Thomas Farr addressed a Congressional Event on U.S. International Religious Freedom Policy on Wednesday, February 3.
Anchor Brendan Conner discusses with Dr. Thomas Farr and Dr. Zuhdi Jasser the mixture of religion and politics in US Elections on Al-Jazeera English.