Rick Warren on Religious Freedom: A Conversation

Does religious freedom help societies flourish? Does the freedom of religious individuals and institutions to put their faith into practice make a difference to the economic and political well-being of the world's people, especially the very poorest? As legal controversy swirls around religious freedom in America and Europe with the Obamacare contraception mandate and battles over gay marriage, the broader social dimensions of religious freedom are often forgotten. A recent Pew Forum report showed that 75 percent of people in the world live in nations where religious liberty is severely restricted. Those nations are highly vulnerable to extremism, social discord, poverty, and corruption.
Rick Warren, best-selling author and founding pastor of Saddleback Church, discussed these and other topics in a wide-ranging conversation with Timothy Shah, associate director of the Religious Freedom Project. Warren is a leading advocate on issues like poverty, HIV/AIDS, and education, and he spoke about faith-based solutions to pressing challenges at home and abroad, as well as the role of religious freedom in advancing those solutions.

A special event following the lecture brought Pastor Rick Warren together with Robert P. George, Princeton University’s McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, and Professor John DiIulio, Frederic Fox Leadership Professor of Politics, Religion, and Civil Society at the University of Pennsylvania. The three explored how religious freedom should be understood today and what place religious freedom should have in American foreign policy.

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