Latest Posts

January 17, 2017   •   

Ambassador Brings Live Religious Freedom Discussion to Facebook

David N. Saperstein departed his position this month as Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom in the U.S. Department of State.

January 15, 2017   •   

Celebrating Milestones in Human Progress on January 15 and 16

January 15 is World Religion Day inaugurated in 1950 in celebration of spiritual unity and peace among religious faiths. This year, this holiday comes the day before this nation celebrates the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, one of the world’s great spiritual leaders.

January 11, 2017   •   

Everyday Religious Questions: Religion scholar and columnist finds surprising similarities in world religions

Dr. Earl Crow taught religion and philosophy at two North Carolina universities—High Point, a private liberal arts university affiliated with the United Methodist Church, and Wake Forest.

January 9, 2017   •   

U.S. Army Sikhs May Now Serve God and Country Under New Military Policy

The United States Army this week authorized religiously mandated beards and turbans for active-duty military personnel, ending discrimination against Sikhs and others.

January 7, 2017   •   

Repressive Anti-religion Laws go into Effect in Kazakhstan

New controls on religious travel and literature ignore OSCE recommendations and violate Kazakstan’s international human rights commitments.

January 3, 2017   •   

U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom Appoints New Executive Director

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has appointed Erin D. Singshinsuk as its new Executive Director.

December 30, 2016   •   

Prince Charles Urges Religious Freedom and Respect Amid Diversity

In 2016 Christmas Thought for the Day, Prince Charles spoke out against religious persecution and urged respect for those of different faiths. Prince Charles opened his Christmas Thought for the Day broadcast for BBC Radio 4 with the story of a recent meeting with a Jesuit priest from Syria.

December 27, 2016   •   

U.S. Congressman Ben Gilman’s Human Rights Legacy

When Ben Gilman passed away December 17 at age 94, he had been retired for 15 years from the U.S. Congressional seat he held for 30 years. The district he represented encompassed portions of Orange, Rockland, Sullivan and Westchester counties north of New York City.

December 22, 2016   •   

The Rights of Parents to Raise Their Children in Accordance with Their Religion

A recurring theme of extremists, governmental or private sector, who attack religions is that children should be separated from their parents to “protect” them from adopting their parent’s freely chosen religious beliefs.

December 20, 2016   •   

Analysis of Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act

In 2011, Congressman Frank R. Wolf introduced the first bill to amend and strengthen the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRFA).

December 16, 2016   •   

President Obama Signs International Religious Freedom Act Amendment Today

When President Obama signed the International Religious Freedom Act into law today, religious freedom received a significant boost in U.S. Government policy with impact around the world.

December 16, 2016   •   

New Scientology religion blog wins Feedspot “Top 50” Award

Just three months since launch, the scientologyreligion.org religious freedom blog has been recognized by Feedspot as one of the 50 best religion blogs on the Internet.

December 13, 2016   •   

First European Anatheism Conference—The Rediscovery of the Divine

The conference “Contemporary Forms of Anatheism” brought together religious experts and representatives of diverse religious traditions to explore anatheism, “a mystical ground… of what is most fundamental in each religion which is not easily translated into language …”

December 10, 2016   •   

Stand Up For Religious Freedom and Human Rights on Human Rights Day

Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December. It commemorates the day in 1948 that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 18 of the Universal Declaration states, “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.”

December 8, 2016   •   

Religious Freedom Bill Poised for Senate Approval

On December 7, 2016, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously passed HR 1150 , the Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Act, sending it to the full Senate for consideration.

December 3, 2016   •   

Religious Freedom Symposium at Georgetown University

A symposium, Religious Freedom and the Common Good, was held November 15, 2016, at Georgetown University.

November 30, 2016   •   

International Religious Freedom Roundtable: A Vital Nexus for Faith and Government Leaders

Continuing its mission to reduce global restrictions on religion, the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Roundtable met this month in the Kennedy Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill.

November 27, 2016   •   

New Religion Law in Vietnam Contravenes Fundamental Right to Freedom of Religion

On November 18, 2016, Vietnam’s 14th National Assembly passed a new law on religion. Human rights advocates worldwide quickly denounced the law for its violation of Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) , which the Vietnamese government ratified in 1982.

November 25, 2016   •   

FBI Reports Sharp Increase in Hate Crimes Against Muslims in America

The FBI’s Hate Crimes Statistics, 2015 shows that hate crimes against Muslims increased by 67%, up from 154 incidents in 2014 to 257 in 2015. The report, which logged 5,818 hate crimes, reveals that attacks motivated by religion rose by nearly 23 percent compared to 2014.

November 22, 2016   •   

Interview with Ambassador David N. Saperstein

David N. Saperstein is the United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. He is a principal advisor to the President and Secretary of State and serves as the country’s chief diplomat on issues of religious freedom worldwide.

November 14, 2016   •   

Religious Freedom a Vital Factor in Economic Growth, Studies Show

Economic growth is driven by just three factors, experts say, and religious freedom is one of them.

November 10, 2016   •   

Leader Receives Church of Scientology National Affairs Office Humanitarian Award

The Church of Scientology National Affairs Office bestowed a humanitarian award on Ms. Cynthia Roseberry , Project Manager for Clemency Project 2014 and member of the Charles Colson Task Force on Federal Corrections.

November 8, 2016   •   

New Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief Takes Office

Religious Freedom Mandate Extended Three Years to 2016 On 1 November 2016, Ahmed Shaheed assumed his mandate as Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief.

November 5, 2016   •   

Second Letter Demanding Release of Asia Babi Sent to Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States

How one mother’s defense of her religious beliefs has become a desperate fight for her life.

November 3, 2016   •   

Outgoing UN Special Rapporteur Calls for State Vigilance Against Religious Persecution

In the final presentation to the UN General Assembly of his tenure on October 28, 2016, Mr. Heiner Bielefeldt, United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, urged member nations to guard against all forms of religious discrimination and intolerance.

November 1, 2016   •   

EU Special Envoy on Religious Freedom in the Middle East

EU Special Envoy for freedom of religion or belief outside the European Union seeks to make religious freedom in the Middle East a focus of attention.

October 29, 2016   •   

OSCE/ODIHR Guidelines on Registration and Recognition of Religious Communities

The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) offers guidelines on the issues of registration and recognition of religious or belief communities.

October 27, 2016   •   

International Religious Freedom Day

Today, October 27, is International Religious Freedom Day. This year it commemorates the 17th anniversary of the enactment of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRFA). The International Religious Freedom Act was passed by an overwhelmingly bipartisan initiative in the U.S.

October 24, 2016   •   

The Sikh Project

London photographers Amit and Naroop aim to capture the heart of Sikhism through a portrait exhibition called “The Sikh Project.” These unique and touching portraits and accompanying vignettes share the experiences of members of that faith in America and personalize the religion.

October 22, 2016   •   

Biblical Scholar Views the Role of Scientology in Bridging Differences in the Middle East

Biblical scholar Dr. Rimon Kasher, professor emeritus at Bar-Ilan University in the city of Ramat Gan in the Tel Aviv District of Israel, presented his perspective on the Scientology religion when he addressed those attending the dedication August 21, 2012, of the Center of Scientology in Tel Aviv.

October 20, 2016   •   

Freedom of Religion and Belief: Problems and Perspectives

Government-sponsored anti-religious hate groups were spotlighted at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Human Dimension Implementation Meeting in Warsaw in September 2016.

October 18, 2016   •   

All of Us Can Serve the World

Following is the powerful speech of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hessein, given a on October 11, 2016, in which he said “I am convinced that service to our fellow human beings benefits all of us—that it constitutes the only meaningful way to live” and “although individually, none of us can save the world, all of us can serve the world…”

October 16, 2016   •   

Church of Scientology Opens National Affairs Office in Ireland

The new Church of Scientology National Affairs Office of Ireland opened its doors October 15 to offer permanent delivery of Scientology-supported social betterment programs in the country.

October 15, 2016   •   

IRF Roundtable Urges Passage of Pending Religious Freedom Resolution

When members of the United States Congress return to Washington after the elections in November, religious freedom advocates are hopeful the Senate will pass H.R. 1150, the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act

October 13, 2016   •   

Special UN Rapporteur Calls for End to Harassment of Members of the Bahá’í Faith

On October 4, 2016, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, called upon the government of Yemen to halt harassment of the Bahá’í population in that country. The full text of the Special Rapporteur’s announcement is below.

October 13, 2016   •   

Interim Report of the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief

The Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief is an independent expert appointed by the UN Human Rights Council.

October 10, 2016   •   

The Church of Scientology International Speaks Out at Annual OSCE Human Dimension Meeting

For the 20th year in a row, the Church of Scientology International participated in the Organization for Security and Cooperation’s annual Human Dimension Implementation meeting in Warsaw, Poland.

October 10, 2016   •   

OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting 2016

The Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) participating States is Europe's largest annual human rights and democracy conference.

September 27, 2016   •   

Hungary: Two Years After Ruling by ECtHR Church Law Remains Unaltered

The Forum for Religious Freedom Europe prepared the following intervention for the OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting and presented it on 27 September 2016 in Warsaw, Poland, at Working Session 12.

DOWNLOAD