Religious Freedom and US Foreign Policy: Taking Stock, Looking Forward

Religious Freedom and US Foreign Policy: Taking Stock, Looking Forward

Copley Formal Lounge
Open to the public

A Series of Three Symposia at Georgetown University

In October 1998 the Congress passed, and President Clinton signed, the International Religious Freedom Act. The IRF Act mandated the promotion of religious liberty around the world as a central element of American foreign policy. This year three symposia at Georgetown will examine the origins (February 25), performance (April 21) and promise (October 9) of IRF policy. Experts from across the spectrum of American public life—scholars, policymakers, experts and journalists—as well as informed officials and observers from around the globe, will analyze policy. The October symposium, building on the earlier two, will present recommendations for the new administration.

Symposium 1: Why Religious Freedom? The Origins and Promise of US International Religious Freedom Policy

8:30-10:00am: The Sources of U.S. International Religious Freedom Policy

Nina Shea, veteran religious freedom expert at the Center for Religious Freedom
Laura Bryant Hanford, a principal author of the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act
Allen Hertzke, author of the acclaimed Freeing God’s Children: The Unlikely Alliance for Global Human Rights
Michael Cromartie, Vice President of the Ethics and Public Policy Center (moderator)

10:15-11:45am: The Social, Economic, and Political Impact of Religious Liberty Worldwide

Jose Casanova, Georgetown University
Daniel Philpott, University of Notre Dame
Brian Grim, Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
Thomas Farr, Georgetown University (moderator)

11:45-12:00: Working Lunch

12:00 – 1:30 pm: International Perspectives: China, Russia, and Central Europe

Liu Peng, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
Viktor Yelensky, Ukrainian National Academy of Sciences
Andrey Sebentsov, Russian Federation
Lauren Homer, International Law Group (moderator)

Light breakfast and lunch served


Future Symposia in the Series (both at Georgetown University):

April 21, 2008: A Decade of U.S. International Religious Freedom Policy: Assessing the Results

October 10, 2008: The Future of U.S. International Religious Freedom Policy: Recommendations for a New Administration



Henry Luce Foundation, New York

Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs
at Georgetown University

Council on Faith and International Affairs at the Institute for Global Engagement

International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University

Council for America’s First Freedom, Richmond, Virginia

Ethics and Public Policy Center, Washington D.C.

Religious Liberties Practice Group of the Federalist Society, Washington D.C.

Leonard Greenberg Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life at Trinity College

Council on Foreign Relations