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ReligionFORBSecular States Struggling with Religious Freedom, conference at ETF of Leuven

Secular States Struggling with Religious Freedom, conference at ETF of Leuven

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Persecuted christians - Conference at the European Parliament about the persecution of Christians in Sub-Saharan Africa (Credit: MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen)

Break the silence on persecuted Christians

MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen held a conference and exhibition at the European Parliament to denounce the silence surrounding the suffering of persecuted Christians worldwide. The EU must take stronger action against violations of freedom of religion, especially in Africa where lives are lost due to this silence.

The right to religious freedom is recognised and implemented by the vast majority of countries that value the UDHR. But the extent to which a liberal society should support religious diversity remains a subject of debate: some secular states guarantee neutrality through a “wall of separation” between religion and state, others actively seek to support philosophical diversity on a basis of equality.

The third international conference of the Institute for the Study of Freedom of Religion or Belief (ISFORB) will focus on secular states’ struggles with freedom of religion and belief. this conference is in English.

ETF Leuven’s Institute for the Study of Freedom of Religion or Belief (ISFORB) focuses its research on the interplay of societal developments, human rights discourses and religion/faith on local and global levels, with attention for religious persecution. As a multidisciplinary research group, ISFORB gives attention to religious freedom and the broader field of religion-state relations from a variety of angles.

ISFORB is a vibrant research community in which doctoral students, faculty members and visiting researchers sharpen and enrich each other. By combining our expertise, we are well equipped to engage in contemporary academic discussions on the place of religion in secular society. Research and publishing are at the heart of our activities. ISFORB purposefully seeks interaction with other research centers on related topics in Europe and beyond. Both at ETF Leuven and in other academic contexts, ISFORB organizes and participates in research projects, conferences, symposia, expert meetings, etc.

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