Promoting Freedom of Religion or Belief – Key Lessons

Authors: Marie Juul Petersen Katherine Marshall

December 18, 2019

Recent years have witnessed a sharply increased interest in promoting the right to freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) through foreign policy. While this new found engagement with what was once termed ‘the orphan right’ is welcome, it raises some challenges. In this article Marie Juul Petersen and Katherine Marshall summarize their report, "The International Promotion of Freedom of Religion or Belief: Sketching the Contours of a Common Framework," which outlines recommendations on meaningful responses to these challenges. They emphasize the need for situating religious freedom in a human rights framework that has broad support while remaining locally relevant. The authors conclude that the contemporary focus on FoRB has special relevance for minority communities that face discrimination and persecution, but far more broadly the focus on FoRB highlights the importance of robust approaches to enhancing civic rights in today’s dynamic societies.

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