3-7 January 2017. American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Conference, San Francisco, California
10-23 January 2017. South Asia Tour, India
13-15 January 2017. Asia Regional Conference, Hyderabad, India. International Programme on “Peace, Stability And Sustainable Development: The Role of Religion”
21 January 2017. Dinner with Asian Religion Scholars, Delhi, India
31 January 2017. Summit on Religious Freedom: “How Supreme Court Decisions Impact the Freedom of Your Faith,” First Baptist Church, Orlando, Florida
9-10 February 2017. Seminar on Migration and Religion, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
13 February 2017. Roundtable on Religious Freedom, San Salvador, El Salvador.
20 February-1 March 2017. Certificate Training Program, Myanmar.
6-10 March 2017. Certificate Training Program, Vietnam
9-10 March 2017. Nootbaar Conference: “Religious Critiques of the Law”, Pepperdine University School of Law, Malibu, California (Elizabeth Clark)
30-31 March 2017. Annual Spring Meeting, International Advisory Council, Salt Lake City, Utah.
3 April 2017. International Society Conference, Brigham Young University
6 April 2017. Constitutional Symposium on Religious Liberty, Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah. Cole Durham participating.
5-14 April 2017. Teaching at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary (Durham)
13 April 2017. “Are Catholic Majorities more Hospitable to Religious Minorities than Others?“, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento, Italy (Brett Scharffs)
18-24 April 2017. Teaching at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary (Scharffs)
24-28 April 2017. Judicial Conference, Academic Conference, and Religious Freedom Training Program for students and faculty from across West Africa
5 May 2017. “Financing of Churches and Religious Organizations: A Comparative Perspective“, Trnava University, Trnava, Slovakia (Gary Doxey)
8-9 May 2017. ICLRS Research Fellow Training, Brigham Young University
14-16 May 2017. Fifth Annual Conference of the African Consortium for Law and Religion, Rabat, Morocco
27-28 May 2017. Conference on 25 Years of Religion Cases in the European Court of Human Rights , Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
2-4 June 2017. Religion and the Legacy of the Soviet State: a 25-year retrospective, Free University of Georgia, Tbilisi, Georgia
9 June 2017. “Religious Freedom Challenges in Costa Rica: A Pending Human Rights Commitment,” Colegio de Abogados y Abogadas de Costa Rica (Gary Doxey)
15-17 June 2017. G20 Interfaith Summit, Potsdam, Germany
18-21 June 2017. European Academy of Religion, Bologna, Italy.
6-7 July 2017. Religious Freedom Annual Review, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
31 July 2017. Relations between Religious Minorities, Majorities, and the State in Indonesia and the United States: Current Trends and Issues. Jakarta, Indonesia
5-6 August 2017. Interfaith Dialogue for Peace, Harmony and Security, Yangon, Myanmar
7-9 August 2017. 8th Annual Certificate Training Program on Religion and the Rule of Law, Beijing, China
22-24 August 2017. IRLA World Congress, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
6-9 September 2017. Latin American Consortium, Montevideo, Uruguay
12-14 September 2017. Social Partnership of the State and Religious Associations in the Modern World, Vladivostok, Russia
1-4 October 2017. 24th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
5-6 October 2017. DC Component of 24th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium, Washington, D.C.
13 October 2017. Law and Religion Symposium, University of Washington School of Law, Seattle, WA
2-3 November 2017. Dialogue on Ethics and Economics, Buenos Aires, Argentina (Gary Doxey participating)
7 November 2017. Interfaith Religious Freedom Conference, Detroit, Michigan (Elizabeth Clark participating)
7-8 November 2017. “25 Years After Constitutional Reform in Mexico,” First International Congress on Religious Liberty, Pontifical University of Mexico, Mexico City.
15-17 November 2017. Regional Religious Freedom and Prosperity Symposium, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
29 January 2016. International Law Weekend – West, “Law in a Divided World”, sponsored by the International Law Association. J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT.
1 February 2016. Third Biennial Colloquium in Law and Religion, St. John’s Law School, Queens, NY. Brett Scharffs presenting.
11-13 February 2016. Annual Conference, J. Reuben Clark Law Society, San Diego, CA.
7-9 March 2016. “The Legitimate Scope of Religious Establishment”, sponsored by the Fondazione Marcianum. Venice, Italy. Brett Scharffs participating.
9-11 March 2016. Law & Religion Moot Court Competition, Venice, Italy. Brett Scharffs participating as a judge.
12 March 2016. Freedom of Religion Symposium, University of Denver Law School, Denver, CO. Cole Durham participating.
15-17 March 2016. “Sacred Places and Heritage Protection from the Perspectives of International, Constitutional, Religion Law, and Foreign Policy,” Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, Israel. Cole Durham participating.
26 March 2016. Religious Liberty Event. J. Reuben Clark Law Society, San Francisco Chapter, University of Santa Clara Law School, Santa Clara, CA.
31 March-1 April 2016. International Advisory Council Annual Spring Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT.
12-14 April 2016. “A Path to Peace,” The World Congress on Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Gary Doxey participating.
20-21 May 2016. “Religious Freedom and Security: Beyond the Balancing Metaphor”, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
22-25 May 2016. “Religious Pluralism, Heritage, and Social Development in Africa”, Conference of the African Consortium of Law and Religion. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
30 May-3 June 2016. Master-Level Course on Sharia & Human Rights: Background and Core Issues in Contemporary Indonesia, Malang, Indonesia. Brett Scharffs participating.
31 May-4 June 2016. Summer School on Human Rights: “Stand for Women’s and Children’s Rights”. Thessaloniki, Greece. Cole Durham participating.
10 June 2016. “Virtue, Liberty, & Law – Rendering Unto Caeser and Unto God”. J. Reuben Clark Law Society, UK & Ireland Chapters, Chorley, Lancashire, England.
16-19 June 2016. Conference “Freedom of Religion or Belief in Situations of Crisis: Why Can’t We Get Along?” Tallinn, Estonia.
7-8 July 2016. Annual Religious Freedom Review, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT.
7-9 July 2016. Conference “Changes in Legal Protections for Conscientious Objection,” XVI Colloquium of the Latin American Consortium for Religious Freedom, Hernandarias, Paraguay. Gary Doxey attending.
16-18 August 2016. 18th IRLA Meeting of Experts, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Cole Durham participating.
30 August – 1 September 2016. G20 Interfaith Summit 2016 in China: “Dialogue Among Civilizations and Community of Common Destiny for All Mankind”.
7 September 2016. APPG FoRB Freedom of Religion or Belief Policy Dialogue, Houses of Parliament, London, United Kingdom. Cole Durham and Brett Scharffs participating.
8-10 September 2016. Oxford Conference and Bi-Annual Conference of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies, “Freedom of/for/from/within Religion: Differing Dimensions of a Common Right?”, Oxford, UK.
15-16 September 2016. International Conference, Hanoi, Vietnam.
19-25 September 2016. Certificate Training Program, Northwest Highlands, Vietnam.
22-28 September 2016. Certificate Training Program, Vietnam.
2-4 October 2016. 23rd Annual International Law and Religion Symposium, “Religious Rights in a Pluralistic World”, Provo, UT.
6 October 2016. 7th Annual Religious Liberty Award Dinner. J. Reuben Clark Law Society, Washington, D.C.
7 October 2016. International Protection of Religion Freedom, Newseum, Knight Conference Center, Washington, D.C.
19-20 October 2016. Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Combatting Violent Extremism, London, United Kingdom.
20-22 October 2016. Law and Religion Conference, Ivanovo, Russia. Elizabeth Clark participating.
26-28 October 2016. “The Politicization of Freedom of Religion or Belief: For Better or Worse,” University of Oslo, Norway.
27 October 2016. Third Annual Sacramento Court/Clergy Conference, SALAM Center, Sacramento, CA.
6-7 November 2016. “Restoring Religious Freedom Converence: Law, Religion, Equality, and Dignity,” Emory School of Law, Atlanta, GA. Cole Durham participating.
9-11 November 2016. “Religious Freedom, the Essence of Human Equality,” South American Forum for Religious Freedom, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Gary Doxey and Brett Scharffs participating.
12 November 2016. JRCLS Religious Freedom Symposium, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT. Elizabeth Clark participating.
17-18 November 2016. Conference at the European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France.
9-11 February 2015. Wilton Park Conference on “Developing a Multilateral Approach to Freedom of Religion or Belief: A European Perspective” at Wilton House, West Sussex, UK. Cole Durham participating.
23-28 February 2015. International Conference: “Towards Law and Religious Freedom in Africa”, 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); African Consortium for Law and Religion Studies, South Africa and International Centre for Law and Religion Studies, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, Utah, United States of America. Cole Durham participating.
22-23 March 2015. Conference Legal and Moral Challenges of Religious Resurgence, sponsored by The International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies and the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, in Jerusalem. Cole Durham and Brett Scharffs participating.
28 March 2015. Freedom of Religion Weekend Workshop, co-sponsored by Wayne State University Law School, The International Religious Liberty Institute, and The Detroit Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, in Detroit, Michigan.
2-3 April 2015. Annual Spring Meeting of the International Advisory Council, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
6 April 2015. LDS International Society Conference, held at Brigham Young University, in Provo, Utah
16 April 2015. Religious Freedom and Foreign Policy, sponsored by The British Council, the Religion Newswriters Foundation, the Center on Religion and the Professions at Missouri School of Journalism, Lancaster University (UK), and the Religious Freedom Center of the Newseum Institute, Knight Conference Center, Washington, DC. Cole Durham participating.
11-12 May 2015. Conference “Religion and the Rule of Law Comparative Studies: Vietnam and the United States”, co-sponsored by the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE), Brigham Young University (BYU), and Vietnam National University’s University of Social Sciences (USSH), Washington, D.C.
14-16 May 2015. Conference “Challenges and Opportunities: Religious Freedom Development in the Sphere of Law” [English] [Armenian/հայերեն&] [Russian/ русский язык] (Yerevan, Armenia) Elizabeth Clark participating.
18-19 May 2015. Conference of the African Consortium of Law and Religion: “Religious Freedom and Religious Pluralism in Africa: Prospects and Limitations” (Windhoek, Namibia) Cole Durham and Bob Smith participating.
20-22 May 2015. Conference Religion and development: making better policy to make a bigger difference in Africa, Wilton Park sponsored conference (Cape Town, South Africa) Cole Durham and Bob Smith attending. [Programme]
21 May 2015. The Importance of Application of the Freedom of Conscience in a Democratic Society, Trnava Faculty, Department for legal issues of religious freedom (Trnava University, Slovakia) Elizabeth Clark participating.
21-23 May 2015. 5th Annual Colloquium of the Latin American Consortium for Religious Liberty, “Advances and Setbacks in the Legal Protection of Religious Liberty” (Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City) Gary Doxey participating.
25-26 May 2015. ReligioWest / European Research Council, Preparatory Conference Towards the Final Report [Draft Programme] (San Domenico di Fiesole, Italy), Cole Durham participating.
30-31 May 2015. Symposium on Marxist Theories of Religion, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, Brett Scharffs presenting “The Relationship of Religion and the State: The Surprising Similarities and Important Differences in the Political Philosophy of Marx and Locke.”
5-6 June 2015. Central European University Annual Law and Religion Conference: “Religion and Equality: Contemporary Challenges in Accomodating Diversity” in Budapest, Hungary. Cole Durham and Brett Scharffs participating.
8-12 June 2015. Brett Scharffs at two conferences in Indonesia: at Gadja Mada University in Yogyakarta and at Muhammadiyah University in Malang.
25-26 June 2015. Conference on OSCE Guiding Principles on Legal Personality of Religious Communities, held in Louvain, Belgium.
6-8 July 2015. Religious Freedom Annual Review, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
20-24 July 2015. Sixth Summer Program on Religion and the Rule of Law, held in Beijing, People’s Republic of China.
25 July 2015. “The Boundaries of Religious Activities,” held in Beijing, People’s Republic of China.
10-14 August 2015. The 17th annual “Meeting of Experts,” organized by the International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA), Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. Cole Durham participating.
15 August 2015. Beijing Union University Conference, Beijing, PRC. Brett Scharffs participating, “Vietnam’s Proposed ’Law on Religions and Beliefs’: Differentiating Core, Important, and Desirable Factors Regarding Religion and the Rule of Law — State and Religious Interests”
8-9 September 2015. “Advancing Freedom of Religion or Belief for All” Conference, held at Theological School of Halki, Turkey
14-25 September 2015. Certificate Training Program on Religion and the Rule of Law, held in Hanoi, Vietnam.
4-7 October 2015. 22nd Annual International Law and Religion Symposium: “Religion, Law, and Social Stability” at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
8-9 October 2015. “International Religious Freedom: Toward a Model of Transatlantic Cooperation,” a Policy Dialogue, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
15-19 October 2015. Parliament of the World’s Religions, in Salt Lake City, Utah.
22-23 October 2015. Comparative and International Perspectives against the Background of the Annual Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, various locations, New York City.
5-6 November 2015. Notre Dame Law Review Annual Symposium: “Religious Liberty and the Free Society: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Dignitatis Humanae” at University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana.
7 November 2015. Religious Freedom in a Changing World, University of Utah Law School, Salt Lake City, UT.
9 November 2015. “Rights Cherished or Freedoms Perished? Perspectives on the future of freedom of conscience, religion and belief and freedom of expression” at Inns of Court, London, England.
10 November 2015. Protecting Religious Freedom: An Interfaith Invitation, in Orlando, FL.
16-18 November 2015. G20 Interfaith Summit, Istanbul: “Religion, Harmony and Sustainable Development”, Griffith University, Brigham Young University, and others.
19 November 2015. Launch Event, The OSCE/ODIHR – Venice Commission Guidelines on the Legal Personality of Religious or Belief Communities, held at Istanbul Bilgi University, Istanbul, Turkey.
20-21 November 2015. International Symposium, “Do Freedoms Unite or Divide: Negotiating the Borders of Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Religion in a Multicultural World,” sponsored by the Alliance of Civilizations Institute, Fatih Sultan Mehmet Waqf University, held in Istanbul, Turkey.
30 November to 9 December 2015. Religion and Rule of Law Training Program, convened by the Institute for Global Engagement (IGE), Sitagu International Buddhist Academy (SIBA), Myanmar Council of Churches, Catholic Bishops Conference of Myanmar, and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at BYU, held in Yangon, Myanmar.
5-8 December 2015. Workshop on “Rights, Dilemmas and the Politicisation of Freedom of Religion or Belief,” Oslo Coalition, held in Oslo, Norway.
10-12 December 2015. “Under Caesar’s Sword,” an International Conference on Christian Responses to Persecution, held in Rome, Italy.
6-9 January 2014. The International Religious Liberty Association’s 15th Meeting of Experts, “Religions, Secular Society, and Religious Liberty in the Mediterranean Area: How to Interact in our Diverse Societies,” Athens, Greece. Cole Durham lecturing on “Varying State Approaches to Religious Normative Systems in the United States.”
15-16 January 2014. International conference focusing on Religion, Democracy and Law, the Faculty of Law, Governance and International Relations, London Metropolitan University. David Kirkham delivering a keynote address. The conference is financially supported by Brigham Young University; International Political Science Association; European Consortium for Political Research; and the Centre for the Study of Religion, Conflict and Cooperation at the London Metropolitan University.
19-20 February 2014. Regional Consultation on Promoting the Freedom of Religion or Belief in ASEAN in Jakarta, Indonesia. Cole Durham…
14-15 January 2013. Conference on Law and Religion in Africa: Comparative Practices, Experiences, and Prospects, sponsored by the Unit for the Study of Law and Religion, Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa; the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa; the Law Faculty, University of Ghana, Legon; the Center for the Study of Law and Religion, Emory University, United States; and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, United States; held at the University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana [Program, PDF]
20 March 2013. Discussion Series Lecture, Cole Durham, “Against Free Exercise Reductionism”, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University.
23 April 2013. Cole Durham opening lecture, “Freedom of Religion or Belief — Emerging Tensions,” at the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion Lecture Series (Trinity Term): ‘Changing Nature of Religious Rights under International Law – 30 Years after the 1981 Declaration’. Public lectures, Tuesdays 5.00 pm, Regent’s Park College.
25-27 April 2013. Challenges for Democracy: Religion, Law and Dialogue in the CIS and Baltics, held at the Baltic International Academyin Riga, Latvia, Cole Durham and Elizabeth Clark participating. Sponsored by the Baltic International Academy; the Academy of Labor and Social Relations (Moscow), the Coordinating Council of CIS and the Baltics on Theoretical and Practical Religious Studies, the Center of Religious Studies Research “ReligioPolis” (Moscow), and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University (USA).
29 April 2013. “Unprecedented Repression of Religious Minorities and NGOs in Russia,” a side-event organized by Human Rights Without Frontiers Int’l (HRWF Int’l), the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF) and the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies (KCIS), held at the UN in Geneva, Cole Durham moderating.
8 May 2013. Discussion Series Lecture, Elizabeth Clark, “Converging Challenges to Religious Freedom,” J. Reuben Clark Law School, Provo, Utah.
10-11 May 2013. International Conference, “Models of Relationship of State and Church: Contemporary Tendencies,” Yerevan, Armenia, David Kirkham, keynote speaker.
16 May 2013. The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, 18th Anniversary Canterbury Medal Dinner, honoring Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Pierre Hotel, New York City.
23-24 May 2013. International Symposium on Iraq, ‘Human Rights and Justice in Iraq’, Istanbul, Turkey. The symposium is sponsored by the International Jurists Union, Istanbul University, Istanbul Sehir University, Istanbul Yeni Yüzyil University, Association of Researchers on The Middle East and Africa (ORDAF), and Lawyers’ Association, Brett Scharffs presenting.
25 May 2013. World Festival of Religious Freedom, Anhangabaú Valley, São Paulo, Brazil, sponsored by the International Religious Liberty Association, Cole Durham attending.
28 May 2013. Conference “The Religious Factor in the Social-Political Life of Contemporary Russia: Religion and Law in State Policies“, organized by the Center for the Study of the Problems of Religion and Society, Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and the Guild of Experts on Religion and Law, held at the Scientific Council of the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Cole Durham participating.
7 June 2013. Panel discussion on Freedom of Religion and Church-State Relations in Hungary: The State of Play after the Fourth Amendment of the Fundamental Law, chairs Renáta Uitz and W. Cole Durham, Jr.; organized by the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, United States, and Central European University, Legal Studies Department; venue, Popper Room, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary.
7-8 June 2013. Freedom of Religion and Non-Discrimination: The Collision of Identities, conference held at Central European University, Budapest, Hungary, co-sponsored by the Department of Legal Studies (CEU), the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (Brigham Young University).
14 June 2013. Cole Durham awarded honorary doctorate from Ovidius University, Constanta, Romania.
17 June 2013. Seminar in Celebration of Mary Ann Glendon, Florence, Italy. Cole Durham attending.
17-22 June 2013. Oxford Journal of Law and Religion Summer Academy 2013, Regent’s Park College Oxford.
18-20 June 2013. Oxford Conference, International Protection of Religious Freedom, Emerging Issues, Harris Manchester College and other locations in Oxford.
27-28 June 2013. Annual Law and Religion Roundtable, held at Stanford Law School.
12 July 2013. Discussion Series Lecture, “David Kirkham, “Freedom of Conscience and the American Identity,” J. Reuben Clark Law School, Provo, Utah.
15-16 July 2013. Fourth Summer Certificate Training Program in China, Beijing.
19-21 August 2013. ICLRS hosts the XIII Coloquio del Consorcio Latinoamericano de Libertad Religiosa, “Libertad Religiosa, Igualdad y Autonomía de las Entidades Religiosas”, Richmond Virginia, USA.
21-23 August 2013. Third Conference of the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies, “Religion, Democracy, and Equality“, Richmond, Charlottesville, and Williamsburg, Virginia.
4 September 2013. Discussion Series Lecture, Brett Scharffs, “Can Public Reason Accommodate Conscience?” J. Reuben Clark Law School, Provo, Utah.
16-25 September 2013. Second Certificate Training Program on Religion and the Rule of Law, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
6-8 October 2013. Twentieth Annual International Law and Religion Symposium, Religion and Human Rights, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.
9-10 October 2013. “Freedom to Flourish: Is Religious Freedom Necessary for Peace, Prosperity, and Democracy?” Center co-sponsored event at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. Robert Smith and Cole Durham participating.
10-11 October 2013. International Congress of Constanta (Romania), on the anniversary of 1700 years from the proclamation of the Edict of Milan (313): “The Edict of Milan and Religious Liberty: The Impact of this Liberty over the Centuries,” held in Constanta, Romania. Sponsored by Academy of Romanian Scientists (The Centre for Religious and Juridical-Canonical Study and Research of the Three Monotheistic Religions: Mosaic, Christian, and Islamic), Ovidius University of Constanta (Romania). Organized in collaboration with: The International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University, J. Reuben Clark Law School, United States; The University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland; Ivane Javakhishvili Tblisi State University, Georgia; The Pontifical University of John Paul II in Cracow, Poland;The Archdiocese of Tomis (Constanta/Romania) (The Institute for Religious, Cultural and Juridical-Canonical Studies); The Romanian-Arab Culture and Press Club. Center representative James Faulconer.
10-12 October 2013. Annual Meeting of the American Society of Comparative Law, Little Rock, Arkansas.
30-31 October 2013. International Symposium on Freedom and Security, Istanbul, Turkey. Brett Scharffs participating.
1 November 2013. China Certificate Training Program Alumni Meeting in Beijing. Brett Scharffs attending.
2-4 November 2013. Chinese Academy of Social Sciences Institute of World Religions China Social Sciences Forum – World Religions and the Dialogue of Civilizations, Brett Scharffs presenting “Can Public Reason Accommodate Conscience?”
7-9 November 2013. Conference on “Islam in the Law: Sharia, Secularism, and Society in the Euro-Mediterranean Region,” Ifrane, Morocco, Cole Durham participating.
4 January 2012. Fourth Annual J. Reuben Clark Law Society Faculty Section Conference, Washington College of Law, American University, 3:00 p.m., Robert Smith participating on plenary panel with paper titled “Current Frontiers in Religious Freedom Litigation.”
6 January 2012. Committee on Religious Liberty meeting. Washington, D.C. Cole Durham participating.
16-18 February 2012. Annual Conference of the J. Reuben Clark Society, Stanford University, Cole Durham and Gayla Sorenson participating.
24-25 February 2012. Workshop on Oxford Handbook on Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding, University of Notre Dame, Cole Durham panelist, “Conceptual Foundations and Historical Contestations.”
1 March 2012. Second Religious Freedom Discussion Series, Lecture #1, W. Cole Durham, Jr., 12:00 noon MST, webinar from Room 472 JRCB, Brigham Young University.
19 April 2012. Launch of the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion, the Oxford Journal of Law and Religion Colloquium, Regent’s Park College, Oxford, U.K. Cole Durham presenting, Brett Scharffs, David Kirkham, and Donlu Thayer attending.
20 April 2012. Oxford Journal of Law and Religion Seminar, Bailliol College, Brett Scharffs and Cole Durham prsenting, David Kirkham and Donlu Thayer attending. [Video interview of Peter Petkoff, by David Kirkham.]
19-20 April 2012. 5th Fundamental Rights Platform meeting, held in Vienna, Austria.
21 April 2012. JRC Law Society London Chapter Event. “A Secular State Preserves Religious Freedom,” Brett Scharffs and Ronan McCrea, Latham & Watkins, Bishopsgate, London.
24-26 April 2012. 7th World Congress on “The Secular Challenge to Religious Freedom,” sponsored by the International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA), held in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Cole Durham and Gary Doxey participating.
30 April & 1 May 2012. Managing Religious & Cultural Diversity in the Pacific. Law & Religion Conference; Apia, Samoa; sponsored by National University of Samoa, Victoria University (New Zealand), International Center for Law and Religion Studies (Utah, USA), UNESCO, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., National University of Samoa, Cole Durham participating.
2-4 May 2012. Conference of Religiously Affiliated Law Schools, “The Place of Religion in the Law School, the University and the Practice of Law,” Touro Law Center, Central Islip, New York, Elizabeth Clark participating.
14-15 May 2012. “Religion and Contemporary Society,” co-organized by Chinese Academy of Social Science, China, and Brigham Young University, United States, held at Milton A. Barlow Center, 2520 L Street N.W., Washington, D.C., Cole Durham and Brett Scharffs participating.
24 May 2012. “Rising Threats to American Religious Freedom,” sponsored by the Ethics and Public Policy Center’s American Religious Freedom Program, Washington, D.C., Cole Durham and Gary Doxey participating.
1-2 June 2012. Registration, Religious Autonomy and the Right to Freedom of Religion or Belief, hosted by the Department of Legal Studies, Central European University, organized by the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University, USA, Cole Durham participating. [Conference Program]
7 June 2012. Seminar on the Autonomy of the Church in the Recent Case-law of the European Court of Human Rights and of the USA Supreme Court, Council of Europe, Organized by the European Centre for Law and Justice in cooperation with Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Européennes: Religion et Société (Bruxelles – CERERS), the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) and the Strasbourg Consortium on Freedom of Conscience and Religion. Cole Durham participating.
8-9 June 2012. 20th Annual Individual and the State Conference on “Tragedy of Liberty: From Liberation to Self-Destruction and Irrelevance,” June 8-9, 2012, Central European University, Cole Durham participating.
18-19 June 2012. Conference, “Year of Russian History: State—Individual—Faith,” sponsored by the Expert Council of the Federal Human Rights Ombudsman, the Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Nor-West Region, St. Petersburg Christian University, the Russian Association of Researchers of Religion, and the State Museum of the History of Religion, with organizational help from the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, St. Petersburg, Russia. [Передачи на русском языке] Cole Durham and Elizabeth Clark attending from the Center.
21-22 June 2012. Roundtable on Law and Religion in Australia, held at Australian National University College of Law, Sydney, with Public Lecture by Professor Brett G. Scharffs, Accommodating Conscience: The Problems Arising from General and Neutral Laws, Sparke Helmore Theatre 1, ANU College of Law, Building 5, Fellows Road, 21 June, 5.30-6 pm. [Event Flyer]
22 June 2012. State-Sponsored Religious Displays in the U.S. and Europe, sponsored by the Center for Law and Religion at St. John’s School of Law and the Department of Law at the Libera Università Maria Ss. Assunta (LUMSA). Held at LUMSA, Complesso del Giubileo via di Porta Castello, 44 – Rome. Cole Durham participating on panel to discuss “Lautsi, the Margin of Appreciation, and the Choice of Secularisms.” [Program]
8-20 July 2012 China Certificate Training Program, held under the auspices of Peking University Law School, Beijing, China, cosponsored by the International Center for Law and Religion Studies and the Center for Administrative and Constitutional Law at Peking University Law School. Brett Scharffs and Cole Durham participating.
20-22 August 2012. International Religious Liberty Association 14th Meeting of Experts, an International Think Tank on Religious Freedom: Models of Secularity and Religious Freedom: Canada, the United States of America, and Europe, Cole Durham participating with “Comparative Approaches to Offensive Religious Expression,” Multi-Faith Centre, University of Toronto, Canada.
5 September 2012. Religious Freedom Discussion Series Lecture by Professor Brett G. Scharffs — “Accommodating Conscience: The HHS Contraception Mandate and the Problems Arising from General and Neutral Laws,” Brigham Young University.
7-9 October 2012. “Religion, Democracy, and Civil Society,” 19th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, to be held at the J. Reuben Clark Law School on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
11 October 2012. “Which Model, Whose Liberty?: Differences between the U.S. and European Approaches to Religious Freedom,” sponsored by the Religious Freedom Project, The Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, Georgetown University, and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, held in Washington, D.C. Cole Durham, Robert Smith, and Elizabeth Clark participating.
3 November 2012. Ninth Beijing Forum: 【2012 Panel II】Faith and Society: Spiritual Reflections of Global Age, Peking University. Brett Scharffs participating.
26 November – 5 December 2012. Inaugural Certificate Training Program on “Religion and the Rule of Law in Vietnam and Southeast Asia,” at the College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University, Hanoi. Brett Scharffs and Cole Durham participating.
1 December 2012. INFORM Autumn Seminar: Changing Beliefs and Schisms in New Religious Movements, 9.30am – 5.15 pm, Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, London School of Economics. Cole Durham participating.
5 December 2012. Religious Freedom Discussion Series, Robert Smith, “A Contest of Greatest Importance: The Battle over the Meaning of Religious Freedom,” 12:00 noon, 472 JRCB, Brigham Young University.
5 December 2012. International Conference “Religious Instruction in the World Today”, Institute of St. Stanislava, Hall Matija Tomc, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Cole Durham and Elena Miroshnikova participating.
7-8 December 2012. Interdisciplinary and international conference “Group Autonomy and Its Critics: Human Rights Perspectives”, University of Oslo. [program] Cole Durham participating.
11-12 December 2012. The Institute of World Religions (IWR) in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), international conference, The China Social Science Forum on “Religious Charities and Social Development,” Beijing. Cole Durham and Brett Scharffs participating.
5-8 January 2011. Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting, “Core Educational Values: Guideposts for the Pursuit of Excellence in Challenging Times,” held in San Francisco
8 January 2011. Sixth Annual Conference on Christian Legal Thought, sponsored by the Lumen Christi Institute and held in San Francisco
13 January 2011. International Symposium on “Religious Diversity and the European Workplace,” organized by the University of Leuven’s Institute for Migration Law…
6-10 January “The Freedom of Religion and Belief Jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights: Legal, Moral, Political and Religious Perspectives,” a panel at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Law Schools, held in New Orleans, Louisiana
29-31 January “Religion, Law and Governance in Southeast Asia: Comparative Legal Perspectives,” co-sponsored by the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS, Malaysia), the Faculty of Law of the University of Malaysia (Malaysia), the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies of Amity University (India), the International Consortium for Law and Religion Studies (Italy), and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University (United States), held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
4-5 February “Religious Diversity and Secular Models in Europe,” RELIGARE Project Kick-off Meeting, co-organized by the University of Leuven (K.U. Leuven – Project Coordinator) and the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS – leader of WP8), held in Leuven and Brussels, Belgium
11-13 February “Service for Good through the Law,” J. Reuben Clark Society Conference – University of Utah Law School, Salt Lake City [Reports and audiovisual presentations, including the presentation of ICLRS representatives Cole Durham, Robert Smith, and Gayla Sorensen – “Strengthening Religious Liberty Around the World” – may be found here.]
26 February “The Future of Rights of Conscience in Health Care: Legal and Ethical Perspectives,” co-sponsored by the J. Reuben Clark Law School, the Ave Maria School of Law, and the University Faculty for Life, held at Brigham Young University [Durham paper: “The Scope of Freedom of Conscience”]
8-9 March Geneva Summit for Human Rights, Tolerance and Democracy, Second Annual Session, organized by a coalition of 25 human rights NGOs, Geneva, Switzerland
17-19 March “Culture and Justice in the Contemporary World,” The International Society for African Philosophy and Studies 16th Annual Conference, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana
18-19 March “Blessing the Lives of Our Law Students: Opportunities and Challenges,” Religiously Affiliated Law Schools Conference, held at Brigham Young University
5 April International Society Conference, Brigham Young University
6-8 April Workshop on “Law and Religion in Mediterranean Islam,” cosponsored by the Università degli Studi dell’Insubria and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University, held in Como, Italy
16-17 April Order of Malta Workshop on Holy Places, Rome, Italy
19-21 April Conference on Freedom of Conscience: International Standards and Experience in National Implementation (the Russian Far East and Countries of the Asia-Pacific Region), in Blagoveshchensk, Russia, organized by the Amur Regional Government, the Judicial Administration of the Amur Region, Human Rights Ombudsman of the Amur Region, the Blagoveshchensk Branch of the Moscow Academy of Free Enterprise, the Blagoveshchensk State Pedagogical Institute, the Russian Human Rights Ombudsman’s Expert Council, Russian Association “Ananie,” the Association of Scholars of Religion, the Russian State University for the Humanities, and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University
26-28 April Rothermere American Institute conference “US Constitutionalism in Decline?: An International Perspective”, with participation by Brett G. Scharffs in the Freedom of Religion or Belief session, held at Oxford University, United Kingdom
19-20 May Conference on Anti-Discrimination in Religion, organized by the Department for Church Affairs of the Ministry of Education and Culture, Budapest, Hungary
27-28 May Conference on Religious Discrimination in European Church-State Relations, sponsored by the University of Graz and held in Graz, Austria
31 May – 1 June International Symposium on “The Monotheistic Religions and the Human Liberties,” organized by The Centre for Religious, Canon and Juridicial Studies and Research of the Three Monotheist Religions (Mosaic, Christian, and Islamic), held at Ovidius University of Constanta, Romania
4-5 June The 18th Individual vs. the State Conference on “Religion in the Public Square,” Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
7-9 June Oxford Conference on Law and Religion, organized by the Oxford Society for Law and Religion; Focus on FORB; the Centre for Christianity and Culture at Regent’s Park College, Oxford; the School of Law, University of Bristol; Brunel Law School, Oxford Brookes University; and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University, held in Oxford, United Kingdom
11 June Laïcité in Comparative Perspective, roundtable conference held at the Paris campus of St. John’s University, organized by Professor Mark Movsesian and including scholars from France, the United States, Italy, and Spain, including Brett G. Scharffs
25 July – 1 August The International Academy of Comparative Law and the American Society of Comparative Law present The XVIIIth International Congress of Comparative Law / Le XVIIIe Congrès International de droit comparé, topic Religion and the Secular State, W. Cole Durham, Jr., and Javier Martínez-Torrón, General Reporters, Washington, DC
30-31 July Conference on Religion and the Secular State: Comparative Perspectives, organized by the Interdisciplinary Program in Law and Religion, Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University, on the Occasion of the 18th International Congress of Comparative Law, Washington, DC
5-6 August Conference “Democracy and Religious Freedom: Old and New Challenges,” organized by the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University, in Kyiv, Ukraine
8 August Durham presentation on “First Amendment Religion Clauses: Universal Norm or Peculiarly American?” at the American Bar Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California
14-19 August Law and Religion Certification Program, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
20-22 August Conference on “Religion, Law, Ethnicity and Harmony,” Beijing, People’s Republic of China
6-10 September IRLA Meeting of Experts, held in Amman, Jordan
22-25 September X Coloquio Religión y Derecho del Trabajo, with participation by Gary Doxey, sponsored by El Consorcio Latinoamericano de Libertad Religiosa, Lima, Perú
3-5 October Seventeenth Annual International Law and Religion Symposium, “Religion in Contemporary Legal Systems,” Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah
7 October Religious Liberty Award Dinner and CLE, co-sponsored by the International Center for Law and Religion Studies and the DC Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, Washington, DC
5 November Religious Legal Theory Conference: Religion in Law, Law in Religion, Brett G. Scharffs was moderator of a session on Comparative Law and Religion, held at St. John’s School of Law in New York City
15 November “Religious Freedom in Russia: The Misuse of the Law on Extremism against Religious Minorities,” hosted by MEP Dennis de Jong & co-organized with Human Rights without Frontiers, held at the European Parliament, Brussels
16-17 November International Archon Religious Freedom Conference, “Religious Freedom: Turkey’s Bridge To The European Union,” held at the European Parliament, Brussels
20 November INFORM Seminar XLV: “State Reactions to New Religions,” held at Clement House, London School of Economics, UK
9-10 December OSCE/ODIHR Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting: Freedom of Religion and Conscience, Vienna
January 22-24, 2009 First ICLARS Congress, Relations Between States and Religions: Patterns in the 21st Century. University of Milan, Milan, Italy.
February 2-3, 2009 Religion in Contemporary Society. State Academy of Social Service Moscow, Russia.
February 13-15, 2009 International Conference on the Constitution Making of Nepal. Budhanilkantha, Kathmandu, Nepal.
March 12-14, 2009 Civil Religion in the United States and Europe: Four Comparative Perspectives. Sponsored by the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University and the Brigham Young University Law School Provo, Utah, USA.
May 14-16, 2009 Christianity in the East: Fostering Understanding. Sponsored by the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at Brigham Young University, the Richard L. Evans Chair of Religious Understanding, the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies, and the Wheatley Institution. Brigham Young University Provo, Utah, USA.
May 29-30 Religious Autonomy. Co-sponsored by the International Center for Law and Religion Studies and Central European University. Budapest, Hungary.
June 10-14, 2009 2009 International Conference of the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), Mainstreaming and Marginalization of Religious Movements. Salt Lake City, Utah.
July 9-10, 2009 Supplementary Human Dimension Meeting on Freedom of Religion or Belief. Organized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). Vienna, Austria.
August 3-9, 2009 Russia in the 21st Century: Freedom of Conscience, Religion, and the Church. Conference co-sponsored by ICLRS at St. Petersburg Christian University. St. Petersburg, Russia.
August 9-15, 2009 Young Lawyers Training Conference. ICLRS joined with the Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation, the TIFA Foundation, and the Oslo Coalition for Freedom of Religion or Belief in providing a Training Course for Lawyers on Freedom of Religion or Belief. Jakarta, Indonesia.
August 13-15, 2009 Cultural and Religious Freedom under a Bill of Rights. Conference co-sponsored by ICLRS, University of Adelaide Research Unit for the Study of Society, Law and Religion, and others. Canberra, Australia.
August 31 – September 4, 2009 Hate Speech and Religious Defamation: Part II. International Religious Liberty Association’s 11th Annual Meeting of Experts. Silver Spring, Maryland.
September 28-30, 2009 David M. Kirkham, ICLRS Senior Fellow for Comparative Law and International Policy and Regional Advisor for the European Union, addressed freedom of conscience concerns at the conference Exploring Dimensions in Countering Ideological Support for Terrorism at the Royal Jordanian National Defence College in Amman. Co-sponsored by the Defence College and the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies, the conference explored efforts by nations to delegitimize the culture of violence that often informs the thinking of ideological extremists. Conference participants included more than 100 academic, governmental, security, and religious leaders from the Middle East, Europe, Eurasia, and the United States. Amman, Jordan
October 4-6, 2009 Sixteenth Annual International Law and Religion Symposium. Connecting Communities of Discourse: How the Judiciary, Academia, Government, and International Institutions Further the Work of Religious Freedom. Provo, Utah.
October 14-15, 2009. Financing of Churches and Religious Societies in the 21st Century. ICLRS Associate Director Elizabeth Sewell presented a paper, “State Funding and Autonomy of Religious Groups,” in the opening session of the international conference, held under the auspices of the Minister of Culture of the Slovak Republic and designed in part to provide comparative experiences on financing of churches to assist Slovak government officials in drafting changes to that country’s system of financing of religious groups. The conference was attended by scholars, religious leaders, and government officials from Europe, Russia, Japan, South America, and the U.S. Bratislava, Slovakia.
October 20-23, 2009 Dialogue between the State and Religious Associations in Contemporary Culture. ICLRS director Cole Durham participated in an international sponsored by the Expert Council under the Commissioner for Human Rights in Russia, the Administration of Volgograd Region, Volgograd State University, The “Knowledge” Society of Russia (an All-Russia Public Organization), The Volgograd Branch of the Scientific and Educational Cultural Society, and the Association of Researchers of Religion. Professor Durham participated in the plenary session, “Civil-Law Relations of Religious Organizations as Legal Persons.” Volgograd, Russia.
October 28, 2009 ICLRS Director Cole Durham, a member of the OSCE Advisory Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion or Belief, moderated a roundtable discussion—Defamation of Religions: The Relationship between freedom of expression and freedom of religion—held in the Delegates’ Dining Room at the United Nations Headquarters. The meeting was co-sponsored by NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, The BYU International Center for Law and Religion Studies, and The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. New York City.
October 29-30, 2009 ICLRS Advisors for Latin America, Gary B. Doxey and Scott R. Isaacson attended an International Seminar, Right to Freedom of Belief 10 Years after the Enactment of Law No. 19.638 [The ‘Chilean Law of Worship’] on Legal Constitution of Religious Entities. Held at the Santiago Campus of the University of Talca, organized by the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences, University of Talca; the Faculty of Law, Catholic University of Valparaiso School of Law; Catholic University of Chile Law School; and the University of the Andes; was sponsored by the Chilean Ministry of Justice National Bureau of Religions Affairs (SEGPES), the Latin American Consortium for Religious Freedom, and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Santiago, Chile.
November 5, 2009 The St. Thomas More Society of Utah presented its First Annual Religion and the Law Program: Reconciling Religious Values with Professionalism and Civility with a panel discussion focused on the blending of spiritual beliefs with professionalism, civility, and professional responsibility. The discussion was moderated by ICLRS Director Cole Durham. Panelists included Alan Bachman, Assistant Utah Attorney General; Michael Lee, partner at Howrey LLP; Father Mike Sciumbato, Parish Priest at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church; and Sensei Michael Zimmerman, partner at Snell and Wilmer, former Chief Justice, Utah State Supreme Court. Salt Lake City, Utah.
February 14-16, 2008 State, Religion and Law in and beyond South Asia: Comparative Perspectives, New Delhi, India.
February 25, 2008 Why Religious Freedom? The Origins and Promise of U.S. International Religious Freedom Policy, Washington, D.C., USA.
April 3-6, 2008 Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Conscience, and Right of Association: International and Russian Experience in Implementation, Ekaterinburg, Russia.
March 31-April 1, 2008 Religion and Education: Russian and International Experience, Moscow, Russia.
April 21, 2008 A Decade of U.S. International Religious Freedom Policy: Assessing the Results, Washington, D.C., USA.
April 28-29, 2008 International Congress 2008, “Religious Liberty, the Source of all Liberties,” Buenos Aires, Argentina.
May 20-21, 2008 Religion in Post-Modern Society: Conceptional, Socio-Political and Legal Aspects, Kiev, Ukraine.
May 30-June 2, 2008 Religion and Rule of Law: The Legal System and Religion in a Harmonious Society, Beijing, People’s Republic of China.
June 13-14, 2008 Emerging Legal Issues Involving Islam in Europe: Part II, Budapest, Hungary.
June 21-22, 2008 Freedom of Religion or Belief and Protecting Vulnerable Identities – A Global Snapshot Conference, Geneva, Switzerland.
June 22, 2008 Noodt Consultation on the Strasbourg Conference Project, Geneva, Switzerland.
October 5-8, 2008 Fifteenth Annual International Law and Religion Symposium on “International Protection of Religious Freedom: National Implementation.” Provo, Utah, USA.
October 9, 2008 International Law and Religion Symposium, Washington, D.C., USA.
October 10, 2008 The Future of U.S. International Religious Freedom Policy: Recommendations for a New Administration, Georgetown University Washington, D.C., USA.
July 12-16, 2007 Northern American Interfaith Network Conference. Richmond, Virginia.
June 22-23, 2007 Implementation of Freedom of Religion and Belief: International and Russian Experience Conference. St. Petersburg, Russia. Co-sponsored by the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, the Expert Council of the Russian Federations’ Human Rights Ombudsman, Institute of Religion and Law, Department of Religious-State Relations of the Russian Academy of State Service in the Russian Administration, Russian State Humanities University, Institute for the Rule of Law in the office of the General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation, the society “Znanie” from St. Petersburg and the Leningrad region, the Administration of St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region.
June 18-19, 2007 Emerging Legal Issues Involving Islam in Europe Conference. Budapest, Hungary. Co-sponsored by ICLRS and the Legal Studies Department at Central European University.
June 12-14, 2007 International Symposium on Charity Law Legislation. Beijing, People’s Republic of China. Conference sponsored by the Legislative Affairs Office of the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People’s Republic of China.
June 8-9, 2007 Southern Virginia University Education Conference.
June 7-9, 2007 2007 International Conference on Globalization, Immigration and Change in Religious Movements. Bordeaux, France. Sponsored by the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR) and the Institute for the Study of American Religions.
June 6-8, 2007 OSCE Ministerial Conference on Combating Discrimination, Promoting Mutual Respect and Understanding. Bucharest, Romania. Center Director W. Cole Durham, Jr. was invited to participate in this conference sponsored by the Office for Democratic Institute and Human Rights, Tolerance and Non-Discrimination Programme.
April 22-25, 2007 IV International Scientific Practical Conference on Religion in a Changing Russia: Problems of Researching Religion and Defense of Freedom of Conscience. Perm, Russia. Co-sponsored by ICLRS and the Expert Council under the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Russian Federation, the Administration of Perm Territory, the Commissioner of Human Rights of the Perm Region, the Knowledge Society of Russia, the Perm State Technical University, and the Association of Scholars in Religion.
March 23, 2007 Financing of Religion Communities in Europe and Latin America. Milan, Italy. Center Director W. Cole Durham, Jr. was invited to participate in this conference sponsored by the University of Milan.
March 4-5, 2007 Beyond the Culture Wars: A Leadership Conference on the Future of Religion in the Public Schools. Nashville, Tennessee. Center Director W. Cole Durham, Jr. was invited to participate in this conference co-sponsored by the First Amendment Center of the Freedom Forum, the American Civil Liberties Union Federation, and the Council on America’s First Freedom.
February 16-17, 2007 2007 Annual Conference for the J. Reuben Clark Law Society. Malibu, California. Professors Cole Durham and Elizabeth Sewell were invited to participate in this conference, “Christian Perspectives on Legal Thought,” sponsored by the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University.
February 2007 6th World Congress on Combating Religious Hatred Through Freedom to Believe. Capetown, South Africa. Center Director W. Cole Durham, Jr. was invited to participate in this conference sponsored by the International Religious Liberty Association.
January 2007 The European Union and the Religious Dimensions of Law Conference. Bristol, United Kingdom. Center Director W. Cole Durham, Jr. was invited to participate in this conference which was sponsored by the Centre for the Study of Law and Religion, School of Law, University of Bristol.
Religion in European Union Countries Conference, Istanbul, Turkey, December 2006. Professor Durham was invited to participate in this conference which was sponsored by the Turkish Religious Foundation.
Law and Religion in Transitional Societies Conference, Oslo, Norway, December 1-4, 2006. The Center cosponsored this conference with Emory University, The Institute for Global Engagement, and the Oslo Coalition/Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Ethnic and Confessional Processes in Contemporary Society Conference, Grodno, Belarus, December 2006. The Center cosponsored this conference with Grodnensky State University.
The Center cosponsored the International Charity Law Comparative Seminar in Beijing, People’s Republic of China, October 2006. The conference was hosted by the China Charity Foundation, organized by the China Charity International Exchange Center. Contributing to the conference’s organization were the Legislative Affairs Office, Ministry of Civil Affairs, People’s Republic of China and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law.
The Center cosponsored a training event on Non-Profit Law for Chinese officials in charity management in Dalian, People’s Republic of China, October 2006.
In October, 2006, the Center partnered with Brigham Young University-Hawaii to host representatives from the State Administration for Religious Affairs of the People’s Republic of China. This afforded Chinese officials the opportunity to interact with faculty and Chinese graduate and undergraduate students.
The Center cosponsored a conference in New York on the U.N. Declaration on Religious Tolerance and Non-Discrimination: Implementing Its Principles after Twenty-five Years in October 2006. The conference was organized in conjunction with the United Nations NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief and The Columbia Center for the Study of Human Rights. As part of the New York Conference, Professor Durham participated on a panel hosted by the U.S. Mission to the United Nations on the subject of “The Role of Interreligious Dialogue in Conflict Resolution.” The other distinguished panelists were Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, Archbishop Emeritus of Washington, D.C.; Parviz Morewedge, Professor of Rutgers and Fordham Universities; and Rabbi Israel Singer, Chairman of the World Jewish Congress.
Thirteenth Annual International Law and Religion Symposium at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, October 2006. Forty-one delegates from ninety-one countries attended. The theme of this year’s symposium was “The 1981 U.N. Declaration on Religious Tolerance and Non-Discrimination: Implementing Its Principles after Twenty-five Years.”
Religions and Media: A Legal Viewpoint Conference, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, September 2006.
The Center cosponsored the Third International Scientific-Pracatical Seminar on Freedom of Conscience in the Conditions of a Multi-national and Poly-confessional Society in Krasnodar, Russia, September 13-15, 2006. Other cosponsors included the Russian Federation’s Human Rights Ombudsman, the Russian Organization of Researchers of Religion, the International Association of Religious Freedom, and the Center for the Study of Religion at Russian State Humanities University.
Beginning the Conversation: Religion and the Rule of Law in Southeast Asia Conference, Hanoi, Vietnam, September 2006. Professor Durham was invited to participate in this conference which was sponsored by Emory University, the Institute for Global Engagement, and the Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences.
Proselytism and Human Rights Conference, Oslo, Norway, August 2006. The Center cosponsored this conference with the Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief.
Fourteenth Annual Conference on “The Individual vs. the State,” Budapest, Hungary, May 2006. Professor Durham was invited to participate in this conference which was sponsored by Central European University.
Freedom of Conscience in Russian Society: Historical Lessons, Legal Collisions, Vital Goals for Protecting Religious Human Rights Conference, St. Petersburg, Russia, April 2006. The Center cosponsored this conference with the Russian Association of Researchers of Religion.
“Religion and Civil Society: The Contemporary Position and Development of Perspectives” Conference, Moscow, Russia, February 2006. The Center cosponsored this conference with the Russian Academy of Public Administration.
Global Processes and Religious Diversity in Russia and the World Conference, Moscow, Russia, February 2006. The Center cosponsored this conference with the Russian State University of Humanities.
The Changing Face of International Religious Freedom Issues: Challenges Twenty-five Years After Adoption of the UN’s 1981 Declaration on the Elimination of all Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion and Belief Conference at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 2006. This conference of U.N. Ambassadors was cosponsored by the Center and Brigham Young University.
Same-Sex Marriage and the Law of Religious Freedom Conference, Washington, D.C., December 2005. Professor Durham was invited to participate in this conference which was sponsored by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.
International Religious Liberty Association Meeting of Experts on Culture and Religious Identity in Post-Modern Society, Sigüenza, Spain.
Conference on “Laicite (and Secularism) in the World, and Post-Soviet Experience,” Moscow, Russia, October 2005. Professor Durham was invited to participate in this conference which was sponsored by the Russian State University of Humanities and the French Center for Social Science and Humanities.
Conference on “The Future of Religious Freedom in America,” Washington, D.C., October 2005. Professor Durham was invited to participate in this conference which was sponsored by the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum and the First Amendment Center.
Twelfth Annual International Law and Religion Symposium at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; and Catholic University, Washington, D.C., October 2005. Ninety-four delegates from forty-eight countries attended. The theme of this year’s symposium was “Religion and the World’s Legal Traditions.”
Second Nordic Law and Religion Workshop, Reykjavik, Iceland, September 14-18, 2005. Professor Durham was invited to participate in this conference which was sponsored by the Nordic Research Network on Law and Religion and the Nordic Ministerial Council.
Third International Conference for Comparative Constitutional Law on State and Church Towards the Protection of Freedom of Faith, Tokyo, Japan, September 2005. Professor Durham was invited to participate in this conference which was sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.
Expert Seminar on Religious Symbols and Human Rights, Strasbourg, France, July 2005. The Center cosponsored this conference with Deutsches Institut für Menschenrechte, The Norwegian Centre for Human Rights, The Oslo Coalition for Freedo of Religion or Belief, Serzioni di Diritto Ecclesiastico e Canonica, l’Università degli Studi di Milano, Institut für europäisches Verfassungsrecht, Trier University; Department of Ecclesiastical Law at Complutense University, Madrid; The Section of Canon Law and Church-State Relations of the Royal Academy of Jurisprudence and Legislation of Spain, the Faculty of Law of the University of Bristol; the Law and Religion Program, Emory Law School; and the International Institute on Human Rights.
Conference on Emerging Legal Issues for Islam in Europe, Budapest, Hungary, June 2005. The Center cosponsored this conference with the Central European University. This meeting of experts was a continuation of a series of conferences addressing similar issues. The aim of this series was to generate two books dealing with emerging legal issues involving Islam in Europe.
Conference on Anti-Semitism and Other Forms of Intolerance, Cordoba, Spain, June 2005. Professors Durham and Doxey were invited to participate in this conference which was sponsored by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Conference on Freedom of Conscience, Religion, and Church in the Post-Soviet World, St. Petersburg, Russia, March 2005. The Center cosponsored this conference with the Advisory Council of the Commission on Human Rights of the Russian Federation, Advisory Council for Public Religious Examination of the Ministry of Justice in the Russian Federation, the International Academy for Freedom of Religion and Belief, Non-Profit Organization of Lawyers for Constitutional Rights and Freedom and the Association of Scholars of Religion.
Conference on Religion and Politics: From Presidential Elections 2004 to Parliamentary Elections 2006, Kiev, Ukraine, February 2005. The Center cosponsored this conference with the Ukrainian Association of Researchers of Religion and the International Academy for Freedom of Religion and Belief. This meeting of experts assessed the experience of religious organizations in the Orange Revolution, the indirect and direct results of political and apolitical activities of churches during the election process, problems of direct support of a particular candidate by a religious organization, the role of religious organizations as moral arbiters of the election process, and how the involvement of religious organizations was received by government and society.
Conference on Promoting Religious Tolerance and the Needs of Religious Communities, Tbililsi, Georgia, December 2004. The Center cosponsored this conference with the OSCE, the Oslo Coalition, and the Union “Century 21st,” a Georgia NGO. Government and religious leaders met to discuss new draft legislation in Georgia.
Conference on Church-State Relations in Post-Communist Europe, Bratislava, Slovakia, November 2004. Professor Sewell was invited by the Institute for Church-State Relations to give a lecture on church-state relations in post-Communist Europe for Slovak government officials and academics.
Conference on Freedom of Conscience and the Secular State: Problems and Solutions, Moscow, Russia, November 2004. Professor Sewell was invited by the Russian Academy of State Service to present a paper on church-state relations in using a secular model, limitations of the Russian Constitution.
Eleventh Annual International Law and Religion Symposium at Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; and Catholic University and George Washington University, Washington, D.C., October 2004. Ninety participants from forty-one countries attended, which provided opportunity for key government officials to meet with international religious liberty scholars and with similar officials from other countries. According to one participant from Jordan, the Symposium “plants the seeds of religious freedom around the world. It is up to us [the delegates] to water them in our countries and God will make them grow.”
Conferences on Comparative Law Approaches to Regulating Religion with the International Religious Liberty Association and People’s University in Beijing, China, October 2004. The Center is cosponsoring a series of conferences in which we have the opportunity to work with leading religion scholars in the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and lay the groundwork for increased religious freedom in China.
Annual Meeting of the Latin American Consortium of Religious Liberty in Santiago, Chile, August 12-13, 2004. Scott Isaacson represented the Center at this meeting of Latin American church-state scholars and was the only non-Catholic participant, presenting two papers on the status of religious freedom in Latin America and church-state issues in the United States.
Interparliamentary Conference on Human Rights and Religious Freedom in Brussels, Belgium, August 2004. Professor Durham was invited to participate in a conference which allowed members of national and supranational parliaments to meet and address the issues of human rights and freedom of religion with common understanding and background as legislators. Professor Durham addressed members of European parliaments.
Conference on Religious Freedom in Belarus, Minsk, Belarus, June 2004. The Center was invited by a member of the Belarusian Parliament to co-sponsor a conference with the Belarusian Academy of Science on issues regarding the relationship of church and state in Belarus. Currently Belarus has the most restrictive laws on religious freedom in Europe. The conference helped ameliorate both the laws and their implementation to improve the religious freedom situation in that country.
Conference on Islam in Europe, Budapest, Hungary, June 2004. The Center sponsored the third of a series of conferences held in collaboration with the Central European University in Budapest. The proceedings of these conferences are being prepared for publication of a book dealing with legal issues regarding Islam in Europe.
IRLA Meeting of Experts in Strasbourg, Germany, June 2004. Professor Durham participated in a meeting that focused on Religious Symbols and Religious Commitments in the Public Sphere in Europe. The President of the European Court of Human Rights was in attendance.
Region-wide 15-Year Retrospective on Church-State Issues Throughout the Former Socialist Bloc, Kiev, Ukraine, May 2004. The Center planned a major conference which brought together the heads of religious affairs from throughout Eastern Europe to discuss the treatment of religious freedom in post-Communist Europe during the past 15 years.
Seminario Internazionale Complutense in Madrid, Spain, May 2004. Professor Durham participated in a conference which brought together scholars from Spain and Western Europe interested in the Spanish experience of religious freedom.
Conference on the Comparative Approaches to the Relationship Between Religion and the State in Different Settings in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, April 2004. The Center co-organized a conference, supported entirely with a grant from Central Asia Research Initiative, which allowed us to work with key scholars and government leaders in Kyrygstan on an anticipated draft law on religions.
Lecture Series on Law and Religion in the United States, University of Vienna, Institute for Law and Religion, Vienna, Austria, May 2004. As part of an effort to establish closer ties to a major church-state center in Austria, Professor Durham has participated in teaching a course and giving a number of lectures on church-state issues in Vienna, Austria.
Conference on Religion and Traditional Culture in China, Oahu, Hawaii, March 2004. The Center co-sponsored this conference along with the Institute for the Study of American Religion, Santa Barbara, California; the Religious Studies Department, University of California, Santa Barbara; and the David O. McKay Center of Intercultural Understanding (BYUH).
Conference Organized by the American Bar Association’s Central European and Eurasian Legal Initiative (ABA-CEELI) in Amman, Jordan, February-March 2004. Professor Durham was invited to help train two groups of Iraqi leaders who are involved in the process of developing a new Iraqi constitution.
Conference on Church Autonomy with the J. Reuben Clark Law School in Provo, Utah, February 2004. We have organized a conference on the independence of religious organizations, which has recently been challenged in the US by some of the child abuse litigation cases. A dozen of the leading U.S. scholars on church-state law came to BYU to discuss the significance of church autonomy.
Conference on Comparative Perspectives on Shari’ah in Nigeria, in Jos, Nigeria, January 2004. Professor Durham was invited to lecture on general comparative perspectives on the relation of law and religion to help deepen debate on the emerging place of Islamic law in Nigeria. While in the area, he was also invited to give lectures at Univerzitie in Ghana and Northern Nigeria, the latter under the sponsorship of USAID.
Conference on U.S./European Comparative Law in Budapest, Hungary, December 2003. This was one of a series of conferences co-organized by the Center with Emory University and the University of Trier, supported largely by a grant from a German foundation, that brings together the European Consortium on Church-State Studies (the premier church-state scholars in Europe) with U.S. church-state scholars.
OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting on Prevention of Discrimination, Racism, Xenophobia and Anti-Semitism in Warsaw, Poland, October 2003. Professor Durham’s appointment to the OSCE’s Advisory Panel of Experts on Freedom of Religion and Belief has continued to allow him to raise issues of religious discrimination at meetings such as this.
Tenth Annual International Law and Religion Symposium at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah; and Catholic University and George Washington University, in Washington, DC, October 2003. The annual Symposium provides an opportunity to build relationships with and between key government leaders and scholars. This year 89 delegates attended from 49 different countries.
Conference on Human Rights and Combating Terrorism Sponsored by OSCE/ODIHR in The Hague, The Netherlands, September 2003. Religious freedom is one of the rights being eroded in some countries under the banner of fighting terrorism. This conference provided Professor Durham with a significant opportunity to focus on these issues with representatives of OSCE countries.
Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, September 18-20, 2004. Professor Durham and Scott Isaacson participated in the initial meeting of the Association for Church-State Research in the Americas, co-sponsored by the Latin American Consortium for Religious Liberty, a group of scholars from throughout Latin America. This was part of an effort to build strong relations with the key government advisors and church-state scholars in Latin America.
Seminar on Public Management of Religious Diversity in Quebec, Canada, September 2003. The Center co-organized a conference that brought together some of the leading French, Canadian, and American scholars and government leaders in the field of law and religion and provided an opportunity to build bridges and increase influence on France’s harsh anti-sect approach.
Conference on Religious Freedom, a Permanent Challenge, sponsored by the International Religious Liberty Association, in Santiago, Chile, August 2003. This Center co-organized conference, like the conference in Buenos Aires, was part of a strategy to help build a network of scholars on religious freedom issues in Latin America. Professor Durham and Scott Isaacson attended and participated. Lawyers who represent religious organizations from many parts of South America also attended the training.
OSCE Supplementary Human Dimension Meetings on Freedom of Religion and Belief, in Vienna, Austria, July 2003. This provided important opportunities to showcase the website developed by the Center. The Advisory Panel of Experts that Professor Durham co-chairs was given a very high profile and is being restructured to have increased impact throughout the OSCE region.
Workshop Organized by the EUMAP, June 2003. EUMAP conducts monitoring of minorities issues in the European Union under the auspices of the Open Society Institute. It is involved in major monitoring projects and is contributing to rethinking how minorities issues are being monitored throughout Europe, particularly after the accession to the EU by many East European states. As the Center participated in this workshop, it provided a significant opportunity to make certain that religion problems are being monitored along with other minority discrimination problems.
Conference on the Turkish Welfare Party Case in Budapest, Hungary, June 2003. The Center co-organized this small conference of experts who dealt with a key European Court of Human Rights case on Islam in Europe. This strengthened our ties with Turkish and Islamic scholars in Europe and will lead to a book to be published by a major European academic press.
Russian Leadership Conference in Utah and Washington, D.C., June 2003. This event, funded entirely by the Library of Congress, brought 22 significant Russian policy-makers on religion to the U.S. In their 10-day stay, they were able to meet with national and local government leaders and LDS Church General Authorities, and to tour Church sites such as Temple Square and the Humanitarian Service Center.
Meeting of Experts on Security and Religious Freedom sponsored by the International Religious Liberty Association, in Brussels, Belgium, June 2003. This meeting, which brought together a dozen international experts, dealt with the increasingly significant topic of security and religious freedom.
2003 Brandywine Forum on Religious Freedom: the Missing Dimension of Security, sponsored by the Institute for Global Engagement, at Eastern University, St. Davids, Pennsylvania, May 2003. This conference, sponsored by the Former Ambassador-at-large for Religious Freedom, also dealt with security, and gave Professor Durham opportunities to interact with key U.S. government officials that dealt with national security issues.
Conference on Freedom of Conscience in the Modern Russian Society: Constitutional Principles, Legislative Guaranty, Legal Assistance, in Vladivostok, Russia, May 2003. This conference brought together the government personnel and scholars dealing with church-state from across the eastern half of Russia.
Workshop on Chinese Religion and Traditional Culture in Hong Kong, Hong Kong, March 2003. This was one of a series of conferences organized with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. This workshop provided a unique opportunity to discuss religious freedom issues with Chinese leaders.
Conference on Religion and National Relations in Russia: History, Contemporaneity, Perspectives of Development, in Moscow, Russia, February 2003. This conference, co-organized with the elite Russian Academy for State Service in the Presidential Administration, brought together approximately 40 regional heads of religious affairs from throughout Russia, important because the most significant challenges to religious freedom in Russia today occur at the regional levels.
Russian Conference on LDS Church and Other Religious Freedom Issues, in Moscow, Russia, December 2001. This provided an opportunity for the Area President and others to raise the profile of the LDS Church among Russian opinion-makers.
10-Year Retrospective Conference on Religious Freedom, in Moscow, Russia, November 2001.
Major U.N. Conference on Religion in Education, November 2001.
Religious Freedom Conference in Peru, November 2001.
Annual International Law and Religion Symposium, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, and Catholic University and George Washington University, Washington, D.C., October 2001. This conference attracted 49 world leaders from 28 countries to discuss issues of religious liberty.
Russia Law and Religion Conference, in Moscow, Russia, June 2001. The Center played a central role in a conference co-sponsored by the elite Russian Academy of State Service. The conference attracted key national and regional government leaders with responsibility for religious policy. As a result of this conference, the Center was invited to participate in upcoming conferences in Russia: (1) to focus on the last ten years of Russian legislation affecting freedom of religion, and (2) to train lawyers throughout Russia who represent religious organizations.
Ukraine Religious Freedom Conference, May 2001. The Center was invited to work with the Ukrainian Department of Religious Affairs and the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences to co-sponsor a conference on religion in education and the media. The conference brought together national and regional church-state policy makers and media representatives.
Lithuania Conference, in Vilnius, Lithuania, December 2000. At the request of the Lithuanian Ministry of Justice, the Center co-organized a conference, Law and Religion in Civic Society. The conference brought together key government leaders, academics, organizers of a new Commission focusing on new religious movements, and representatives of many religious organizations to discuss issues related to freedom of religion and belief, particularly those related to the formation of the Commission. The conference provided a valuable chance to help influence the nature of the observatory and ensure that it is dedicated to neutral fact-finding and information dissemination, rather than making sweeping generalizations or targeting minority religions.
Seventh Annual Day for Freedom of Religion or Belief, in New York City, New York, November 2000. Professor Durham was one of two speakers at the Seventh Annual Day for Freedom of Religion or Belief in New York City, organized by the UN Non-governmental Organization Committee for Freedom of Religion and Belief. This was a major event that attracted high-level dignitaries.
Balkans Conference, October-November 2000. Professor Durham was invited to be the sole international scholar to participate in the Conference of Ministers of Religious Affairs from Balkan countries in Romania on October 30-November 3, 2000. This was a unique opportunity, as the conference brought together the heads of departments of religious affairs and other key government leaders from Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey, and Yugoslavia.
Azerbaijan Conference, October 27-28, 2000. The Constitutional Court of Azerbaijan invited the Center and the International Academy for Freedom of Religion and Belief (of which Professor Durham is an Executive Board member) to co-sponsor and organize this conference, designed to serve as a foundation for government efforts to draft new legislation on religious liberty. The conference was attended by the justices and staff of the Constitutional Court, heads of all the major denominations in Azerbaijan, and pertinent heads of departments from the presidential administration and parliament, as well as cabinet ministers, university professors, appellate court justices, state prosecutors, and law enforcement officials.
Seventh Annual International Law and Religion Symposium: Comparative Constitutional Perspectives on Freedom of Religion and Belief, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; Catholic University and George Washington University, Washington, D.C., October 2000. The Center, together with a team of student volunteers, organized and hosted the conference “Comparative Constitutional Perspectives on Freedom of Religion and Belief,” the Seventh International Law and Religion Symposium held at BYU. The conference attracted 66 participants from more than 38 countries, including the Minister of State from Zimbabwe; justices from the Constitutional Courts of Poland and South Africa; members of parliament from Ecuador and Ukraine; the Deputy Minister of Justice from Mozambique; the advisor on non-Catholic churches for Mexican President-elect Vincente Fox; the head of the Russian Public Affairs Division of the Presidential Administration (which includes responsibility for the media and churches); and heads of departments or committees on religion from Armenia, the Czech Republic, and Romania. Participants from the United States included Sen. Orrin Hatch, Judge J. Clifford Wallace of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Prof. David Little from Harvard Divinity School, and Michael Young, dean of George Washington Law School.
Conferences on Draft Laws in Bulgaria and Ukraine, September-October 2000. Professor Durham was one of the lead organizers of conferences in Sofia on October 19-20, 2000, and in Kiev on September 10-13, 2000, both focusing on pending church-state legislation in those countries. In Ukraine, Professor Durham had opportunities to meet individually with and present a paper to a conference attended by the all the members of the Ukrainian Parliament’s Committee on Religious and Cultural Affairs, as well as heads of other major committees.
Russian Leadership Program, July 2000. With a grant of $120,000 from the Library of Congress, the Center organized a conference, “Leadership Dialogue on Freedom of Religion and Belief.” The conference, held in Washington, D.C., and at BYU, brought together 30 distinguished Russians, who were either government officials responsible for state interaction with religion at the federal or regional level in Russia, or who came from Russian non-governmental organizations that work on religion matters. The Russians had opportunities to meet with U.S. government leaders, church-state scholars, and LDS Church leaders.
Russian Conference: “From the Policy of State Atheism to Freedom of Conscience,” May 2000. Professor Durham played a central role in efforts to bring about this conference, which brought 150 individuals, both top federal leaders and local heads of religious affairs and relevant Ministry of Justice officials from 80 of Russia’s 89 regions. It also attracted representation from the European Court of Human Rights, the OSCE, U.S. Embassy Officials, and leaders of many of Russia’s religious groups. As many of the religious freedom problems in Russia arise at the regional and local levels, this conference constituted an important opportunity to open dialogue with many of the officials that deal with religious affairs at these levels. It had added credibility because it was co-organized by the Russian Academy of State Service, which is the premier institution charged with training Russian governmental officials.