International Center for Law and Religion Studies image International Center for Law and Religion Studies image International Center for Law and Religion Studies image International Center for Law and Religion Studies image International Center for Law and Religion Studies image
Upcoming Conferences
2015 Annual Review
2015 Armenia Conference
2015 Mexico City Conference
2015 Namibia Conference
2015 Nigeria Conference
2015 Oxford Conference
2015 Slovakia Conference
2015 Wilton Park Conference
Past Conferences & Events
2014 Poland Conference
2014 CEU Conference
2014 Oxford Conference
2014 Africa Conference
2014 Como Conference
2014 Annual Review
2013 Africa Conference
2013 CEU Conference
2013 Latvia Conference
2013 Oxford Conferences
2013 ICLARS Conference

The Center sponsors, co-sponsors, and participates in numerous conferences annually. Over the past three years, the Center has helped sponsor and has participated in more than 100 conferences in all parts of the world. These conferences involve government, academic, and religious leaders, and are aimed at making a practical difference in the implementation of religious freedom principles. The Center typically partners with local and international leaders in the field, allowing for diverse viewpoints and backgrounds to be represented in each of the conferences.

Image for Religious Freedom and Religious Pluralism in Africa: Prospects and Limitations

The Third Conference on Law and Religion in Africa took place in Windhoek, Namibia, May 18-May 19, 2015. This memorable and very successful conference focused on the theme "Religious Freedom and Religious Pluralism in Africa: Prospects and Limitations." Some sixty participants are participatee in the conference, from 17 countries:  UK, US, Ethiopia, Egypt, Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, South Africa, Senegal, Namibia, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Zambia, Botswana, Uganda, Belgium.

See the Conference Programme here.

Participants discussed such topics as:

  • African traditional law / religion
  • Human rights and dignity (including rights of children, the disabled, the elderly and women)
  • Implications of globalisation, neo-liberalism, democratisation, and fragile states for religious practice in
... more
Image for Conference: 'Religious Freedom Development in the Sphere of Law' – Yerevan, Armenia

With thanks to Ryan Andersen

From May 13-15, scholars and attorneys from the United States, Europe, and Central Asia met in Yerevan, Armenia to participate in the conference "Challenges and Opportunities: Religious Freedom Development in the Sphere of Law".  The International Center for Law and Religious Studies and the Coordinating Counsel for CIS and Baltic Countries on Theoretical and Practical Aspects of Religious Studies (Kyiv, Ukraine—Moscow, Russia) co-hosted the event, which focused on the development of law and religion in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

See conference reports and photographs from the website Religions in Armenia.  More Conference photos are here.

Topics ranged from religion and the environment, the religious aspect of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine and its effects on religious life in Ukraine, religious divides... more

Image for International Conference: Towards Law and Religious Freedom in Africa

An International Conference "Towards Law and Religious Freedom in Africa" was held at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, February 26-28, 2015. The conference was an initiative of the Centre for Human Rights of the Faculty of Law, University of Lagos in collaboration with the Nigerian Bar Association (Lagos and Ikeja Branches); the African Consortium for Law and Religion Studies, South Africa, and the International Centre for Law and Religion Studies, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University. 

The Chief Host and Host of the event were the Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Professor Rahamon A. Bello, FAEng, and the Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, Professor Akin Ibidapo-Obe... more

Image for Developing a multilateral approach to freedom of religion or belief: a European perspective

W. Cole Durham, Jr., Professor of Law and Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University, Provo delivered a paper "Protecting FoRB in situations of conflict: from the Balkans to the Middle East and the Ukrainian crises" at the Conference Developing a multilateral approach to freedom of religion or belief: a European perspective, held 9-11 February 2015 at Wiston House, Wilton Park. Wilton Park is an international forum for strategic discussion located in Sussex, United Kingdom. 

The Wilton Park conference was part of a larger project of transatlantic policy dialogue funded by the British Council/Luce Foundation Bridging Voices... more

Image for Conference in Krakow 4-6 November 2014: Religion in the Context of Globalization

The conference "Religion in the Context of Globalization: Legal Aspects of the Functioning of Religious Organizations" was held in Krakow, Poland,  4-6 November 2014. The event was sponsored by the Department of History of Religions, Institute of Religious Studies, Jagiellonian University (Krakow, Poland); the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah, USA); and the Coordinating Counsel for CIS and Baltic Countries on Theoretical and Practical Aspects of Religious Studies (Kyiv, Ukraine—Moscow, Russia).

The conference opened Tuesday, November... more

Image for Conference in India: Constitutional Parameters of Individual Freedom, November 2014

Amity University India Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University USA co-sponsored an International Symposium, "Constitutional Parameters of Individual Freedom: Secularity, Public Interest & Social Reform", 8-10 November 2014 at the Hotel Taj Mahal in New Delhi.

The event opened on Saturday, November 8, with high-tea and the launch of a new book by Professor Tahir Mahmood, Reminiscing on Law Brains: Bench Bar and Academia. 

Speaking at the conference were international experts... more

Image for Center Sponsors UN Side Event on Religious Freedom: New York City October 2014

A Untied Nations Side Event held on October 24, 2014, and set to coincide with the Report by Heiner Bielefeldt, UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religious or Belief, was co-hosted by the United Kingdom Mission to the UN and BYU’s International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS). Noted authorities featured at the event included Ambassador Peter Wilson, CMG, Deputy Permanent Representative of the UK Mission, Professor W. Cole Durham, Jr., Director of ICLRS and Susa Young Gates Professor of Law at Brigham Young University, along with Lucy Vickers (Oxford Brookes University), Peter Petkoff (Oxford University), Katayoun Alidade (Catholic University of Leuven / RELIGARE), Todd R. McFarland (Associate General Counsel, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists), Richard T. Foltin (Director, National and Legislative Affairs at American Jewish Committee), Bobbi Nassar, UN NGO Committee on Human Rights Co-Chair, and Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Among those attending were diplomats from missions to the United Nationas and representatives from non-governmental agencies interested in fostering religious freedom globally.

Image for Religious Liberty Awards Dinner, Washington DC, October 2014

For his tireless advocacy and record of legislative accomplishment, the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University were pleased to present the Religious Liberty Award to retiring Congressman Frank Wolf. Throughout his 33-year career in Congress, Representative Wolf has championed efforts to alert the United States and the world to the plight of men, women, and children who are persecuted for living their religious convictions. Representative Wolf authored the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act, which established the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and the International Religious Freedom Office at the... more

Image for Fifth China Certificate Training Program, Beijing, July-August 2014

Report by Jarvis Yau

The 2014 Summer Certificate Training Program on Religion and Rule of Law was held in Beijing, China from July 28 to August 8 this year. The event was co-organized by Pu Shi Institute for Social Science, Peking University School of Law, and the Beijing Foreign Studies University School of Law. The International Center for Law and Religion Studies and the Institute for Global Engagement have also sent representatives to provide assistance at the training program. Many prominent scholars around the world were invited to speak at the program and share the results of their research.  

The training covers a wide range of... more

Image for Third Certificate Training Program on Religion and the Rule of Law in Vietnam
Judge Thomas Griffith, Television Interview,
Da Nang, Vietnam, July 2014

Report Bryant Hinckley

In July 2014 the International Center for Law and Religion Studies was pleased to co-sponsor the third annual Certificate Training Program on Religion and the Rule of Law in Vietnam. This year’s program was held in the city of Da Nang, Vietnam. Da Nang is the center of commerce and education in central Vietnam. The program featured the top Vietnamese academics dealing with law and religion in their country along with many of the world’s leading academics on the topic. Judge Clifford Wallace of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and Judge Thomas Griffith D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals also taught at the event. The Institute for Global Engagement, University... more

Image for Intensive Master Level Course in Yogyakarta : Sharia and Human Rights: Scholarly Background and Cases of Controversy in Contemporary Indonesia

Professor Brett G. Scharffs, Associate Dean for Faculty and Curriculum, Francis R. Kirkham Professor of Law, and Associate Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at BYU Law School, participated in an Intensive Master Level Course on Sharia and Human Rights: Scholarly Background and Cases of Controversy in Contemporary Indonesia, held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 2-6 June 2014. The event was co-sponsored by the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, the Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief, and the  Faculty of Law, Universitas Gadjah Mada, which hosted the event. Among Professor Scharffs' contributions to the Course was a presentation was entitled "The Human Rights Framework for Freedom of Religion and Belief."