The Center in Latin America 2014: Events in Cordoba, Argentina

Cordoba, Argentina was the venue for two related conferences co-sponsored by the International Center for Law and Religion Studies in 2014.

The 14th Colloquium of the Latin American Consortium for Religious Liberty:  “Religious Liberty in the Context of Criminal Law,” September 1-2, 2014, National Academy of Law of Cordoba.

The colloquium was successful from the perspective of strengthening religious freedom scholarship in Latin America and building the network of Latin American experts. The Center has been intimately involved with the Latin American Consortium since the beginning, and members of the Consortium are rising to become recognized experts not only in their own region but elsewhere. Participating in this event were Scott Isaacson, a Center senior advisor for Latin America, and Professor Gary Doxey, a Center Associate Director, both of whom have been involved with the Consortium from its beginning. &nbsp…

XIII Coloquio del Consorcio Latinoamericano de Libertad Religiosa

The Consorcio Latinoamericano de Libertad Religiosa (Latin American Consortium for Religious Freedom) is the foremost academic association for scholars of law and religion in Latin America. Scholars from the International Center for Law and Religion Studies have participated in the Consorcio’s annual colloquium every year since its inception in 2000, and many members of the Concorcio have attended the annual Law and Religion Symposium in Provo and other Center-sponsored conferences worldwide. The Consorcio’s past president, Juan G. Navarro Floria, serves on the Center’s Academic Advisory Board, and past president, Ana María Celis Brunet, was installed in…

Interfaith Symposium organized by Gary Doxey held in El Salvador 13 February 2017

Elder Ronald A. Rasband of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was the keynote speaker at an interfaith symposium organized by ICLRS Associate Director Gary Doxey in February in El Salvador. Focusing on religious freedom as a fundamental human right, the symposium was hosted by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and took place at a stake center on the site of the San Salvador Temple in El Salvador on February 13. The event drew select leaders from five Central American countries. These leaders included clergy representing several faiths, judges, members of Congress, mayors, advocacy organizations, and university leaders. The group expressed unanimous support for continued collaboration as a group throughout the region to educate about and improve the laws concerning religious freedom.

Professors Scharffs and Doxey Participate in South American Forum for Religious Freedom

Brett Scharffs, Director of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies, and Gary Doxey, Associate Director, participated in the South American Forum for Religious Freedom. held 9-11 November 2016 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The forum theme was “Religious Freedom, the Essence of Human Equality”. Researchers, teachers, religious leaders and ministers, political leaders and public officials, journalists, professionals related to religious freedom, and other interested persons gathered to discuss freedom of religion and its relationship to state, education, and practices of worship. 

Professor Scharffs presented a paper in a plenary session on the topic “Why religious freedom? Why…

Associate Director Gary Doxey Presents at Four Events in Brazil, 3-8 November 2016

International Center for Law and Religion Studies Associate Director Gary Doxey was a participant in four different religious freedom events in São Paulo, Brazil in November. 

On 3 November 2016, Professor Doxey addressed the Commission on Religious Freedom of the Ordem de Advogados do Brasil (OAB), the Brazilian Bar Association. The next day, 4 November 2016, he gave a lecture and participated in a debate at the Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). The event was titled “O Direito Comparado de Liberdade Religiosa no Brasil, Europa e Estados Unidos” (Comparative Law of Religious Freedom in Brazil, Europe and the United States). The debate was moderated by Professor Rodrigo Medina Zagni. 

Professor Doxey spoke on 5 November 2016 on the topic of “Freedom of Religion Threats and Challenges” at Universidade Adventista de São Paulo (UNASP). He joined religious leaders and religious freedom advocates…

“Changes in Legal Protections for Conscientious Objection” – Paraguay, 7-9 July 2016

International Center for Law and Religion Studies Associate Director Professor Gary Doxey and Senior Fellow and Regional Advisor for Latin America Scott Isaacson participated in the XVI Symposium of the Latin American Consortium for Religious Freedom, held at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic University, Campus Alto Parana, in Hernandarias, Paraguay, from 7 to 9 July 2016. The conference, titled “Changes in Legal Protections for Conscientious Objection”, took place with the institutional support of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ciudad del Este in the person of the assistant bishop Msgr. Pedro Collar (ordinary member of the Consortium). The overall organization of the symposium was delivered by Prof. Abog. Juan Jose Bernal (also a regular member of the Consortium) and colleagues from the host university.

The inaugural session was held in the Aula Magna of the University, in a solemn session begun with the National Anthem followed by a collective prayer. The opening words were spoken by Mr. Rector of the Catholic University of Our Lady of the Assumption, Pbro. Dr. Narciso Velazquez, who marked the need for “consorciarnos” to search for Religious Freedom. Also giving welcoming remarks were the Vice Director of the Campus of the Catholic University, Ing. Ladislao Aranda, and the Dean of the Faculty of Law Abg. Gloria Martinez Mendieta, who recalled that the law is what helps human beings to live in society, and must be commensurate with the nature of human beings, respecting their essential freedom. The Director of Campus Ministry Father Ernesto Zacarias brought a reflection from a religious perspective on behalf of S.E.R. Msgr. Pedro Noguera Collar, who due to episcopal commitments could not be present.

The opening speech of the conference was given by the President of the Consortium, Prof. Carmen Asiaín Pereira (Uruguay), who after thanking the organizers and the host university, addressed the theme of the conference: freedom of conscience and historical changes in legal protection of conscientious objection.

The General Rapport was given by Prof. Juan Navarro Floria (Argentina), who noted that the right to conscientious objection has become an essential topic in the relation of State and Religions and Religious Liberty. Starting from the principle that the State must respect the conscience and conscientious objection is a human right without exception, he emphasized contemporary tensions between proponents and those who defend their restriction in effect. He did a survey of their treatment by Latin American constitutions, a disparity of situations, with a tendency to recognition as autonomous right to par in other cases there is an open negative arises. Rather than proposing claims, he raised prompt questions of research and debate that would follow: the right to conscientious objection is it directly applicable since the International Law of Human Rights and the Constitution, or it is necessary that an internal law regulating ?; Is it enough that their motivation is individual conscience, or must be based on a religious mandate ?; Does the law may impose conditions for their exercise ?; Is this legitimate? He highlighted the roles of jurisprudence and the inter-American human rights system and relieved old and new areas of exercise of conscientious objection, including institutional ideology. He insisted the proposal to draft an international or regional convention on religious freedom.

See the Website of the Consorcio Latinoamericano de Libertad Religiosa for the original report of this event in Spanish.

Advances and Setbacks in the Legal Protection of Religious Freedom, Mexico City, May 2015

The 15th Annual Colloquium of the Latin American Consortium for Religious Liberty was held May 21-23, 2015 at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, Mexico. Sponsored by the Latin American Consortium for Religious Liberty, the Universidad Iberoamericana, and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies at BYU, the conference focused on the theme “Advances and Setbacks in the Legal Protection of Religious Freedom”. The inaugural session was chaired by the principal host and organizer of the colloquium, Prof. Dr. Alberto Patiño Reyes of Universidad Iberoamericana.  Other participants included Prof. Dra. Maria Concepción Medina González, acting as the “Relatora General” of the colloquium. Prof. Dr. Raul Gonzalez Schmal, who delivered the inaugural address, and Prof. Dra. Carmen Asiaín Pereira, President of the Latin American Consortium…