2003 Conferences

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.