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Religious Freedom

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Freedom of religion or belief is viewed by the international community as a basic human right, yet its manifestations vary greatly from society to society. These resources examine and debate the contours of religious freedom; the evolution of international religious freedom policy; and the relationship between religious liberty and democracy, politics, and social and economic development.

Our Experts

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Shaun Casey

Walsh School of Foreign Service

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David Hollenbach

Senior Fellow
Walsh School of Foreign Service, Department of Theology

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Michael Kessler

Managing Director
Department of Government and Law Center

Religious Freedom A-Z Subtopics

Narrow your search for Religion and Development content by selecting from this list of subtopics

Project Spotlight Program

Religious Freedom Project

Religious Freedom Project

The Religious Freedom Project (RFP) at Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs was the nation's only university-based program devoted exclusively to the analysis of religious freedom.


Report November 1, 2016

Buddhism and Religious Freedom: A Sourcebook of Scriptural, Theological, and Legal Texts

This sourcebook presents primary documents surveying historical and contemporary approaches to religious freedom in Buddhism. These documents, spanning the fifth century BCE to the present, include scriptural texts, philosophical texts, legal texts, and political texts. An introduction and commentary by professor Thomas Borchert contextualizes the formative, classical/civilizational…


October 26, 2018

Jocelyne Cesari on Europe and IRFA (Video)

Duration: 2 minutes

October 26, 2018

Drew Christiansen on the significance of Vatican II to IRFA (Video)

Duration: 2 minutes

April 27, 2018

Discussing Homo Religiosus? with editors Timothy Samuel Shah and Jack Friedman (Video)

Duration: 5 minutes


Doctoral Fellows Program

Doctoral Fellows Program

The Religious Freedom Research Project (RFRP) offers summer Ph.D. dissertation fellowships for students exploring the sources, development, and impact of religious freedom in history and the present day.
Hebrew Writing

Historical Origins of Religious Freedom

An adequate understanding of the contemporary significance of religious freedom requires a grasp of its history and institutionalization over time. While the idea of religious freedom grows out of the Classical and Judeo-Christian traditions, it…
Under Caesar's Sword

Under Caesar's Sword

In collaboration with the Center for Civil and Human Rights at the University of Notre Dame, the Religious Freedom Research Project has engaged in a three-year global research project that investigated how Christian communities respond when their religious freedom is severely violated.