ICLRS Director Cole Durham has participated in the International Religious Liberty Association’s 11th Annual Meeting of Experts in Silver Spring, Maryland. This international “Think Tank of Experts” met 1- 4 September 2009 in the Seventh-day Adventist Church World Headquarters to continue its discussions, begun last year at the 10th Annual Meeting held 7-10 September in Bucharest, Romania, concerning the scope of proposed legislation against hate speech. The result was a Statement of Concern about Proposals Regarding Defamation of Religions, expressing the conclusion that specific defamation of religions laws are unnecessary and can indeed be counterproductive in protecting faith groups against hate speech, discrimination, and violence. Advocating international adherence to human rights laws already in place, the statement urges government, educational and religious leaders to encourage “understanding, tolerance, respect and friendship” among members of various faith communities. For more information, please consult the links below.