Gary Doxey represented the Center at two events at Trnava University in Trnava, Slovakia in May of 2017.
Professor Doxey first spoke at the May 4th conference, “Financing of Churches and Religious Organizations: A Comparative Perspective”, at the Faculty of Law at Trnava University. The International Center for Law and Religion Studies at BYU Law School was a co-sponsor of the event.
Marek Šmid, Rector of Trnava University, opened the conference and highlighted the political and legal sensitivities of the topic. Draft legislation on government financing of churches and religious organizations is taking shape in the government of Slovakia and the question is whether or not it should be a topic of legislation or one of agreement between the churches and the state.
Professor Doxey delivered a keynote on the subject of government financing of religious organizations from the American legal perspective. Others gave perspectives from the Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Slovakia. The convener of the conference, Michaela Moravčková, gave concluding remarks. A publication will result from the conference proceedings with a possible follow up conference next year.
On May 5th, a second conference, open to the public, was held at the Faculty of Education at Trnava University. The event, “Migration: Religions without Borders: European and American Perspectives”, focused on the refugee crisis and was co-sponsored by the Slovakian Ministry of Culture and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies.
The conference was attended by many functionaries from the Slovakian Ministry of Religion (a subdivision of the Ministry of Culture). Czech and Hungarian perspectives on the refugee crisis were presented in addition to remarks on the American perspective from Professor Doxey. Several calls for charitable attitudes toward migrants and refugees were made with no conclusions drawn.