July 2009 – Vienna
Professor W. Cole Durham, Jr., Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University Law School, was one of the principal theme introducers at the Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting on Freedom of Religion or Belief organized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) held in Vienna, Austria on 9-10 July 2009. Virtually all of the member states of the OSCE (“Vancouver to Vladivostok moving east”) were represented at the event. Professor Durham’s address launched a session on “Places of Worship.” This has emerged as a focus area because of problematic interferences with access to and uses of places of worship in many OSCE countries, despite commitments that OSCE participating states have made to protect the fundamental right to freedom of worship. Representatives of participating states and of numerous non-governmental organizations identified a variety of concrete steps that can be taken to improve implementation of OSCE commitments in this area.