The fifth Religious Freedom Annual Review of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies has concluded on the campus of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Some 500 participants in the event heard US media, legal, and religious leaders speak on topics such as why religious freedom matters, how to find common ground with LGBTQ rights, religious freedom in the media, and how to promote religious freedom in their communities.
Keynote speakers were Elder L. Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Emma Green, religion specialist writer for the Atlantic and recipient of the 2017 Religion News Association’s award for excellence in religion-news analysis. Other speakers included Professor attorney Nathan Lewin; Professors Sahar Aziz, Thomas Berg, Angela Carmella, and William Eskridge; author Tom Christofferson; Imam R. Ossma Bahloul, Resident Scholar of the Islamic Center of Nashville; San Clemente Mayor Tim Brown; Neill F. Marriott, Former Second Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; writer-scholars Teryl Givens and Fiona Givens; activist scholars the Reverend Eugene F. Rivers, III and Dr. Jacqueline C. Rivers; and “the Godfather of all religion reporting and religion news,” Terry Mattingly.
More from the impressive lineup of presenters: J. Stuart Adams, Pamela Atkinson, Haroon Azar, Chelsea L. Bombino, Kelsey Dallas, Tyler Deaton, Paul Edwards, Julie L. Franklin, Kirsti S. Hamrick, Emily Hardman, Holly Hollman, Scott Jaschik, Shapri LoMaglio, Kristen Looney, Katherine Mangan, Erik Owens, Molly Redden, Bobby Ross, Jr., Gene Schaerr, Ben Schilaty, Jordan Sgro, Kelly Shackelford, Beck A. Taylor, Michael Wear, Walter Weber, and Linda K. Wertheimer.
The freedom to practice one’s religion is one of the most significant rights a human can possess. The International Center for Law and Religion Studies at the J. Reuben Clark School of Law at Brigham Young University is dedicated to securing and maintaining the blessings of freedom of religion and belief for all people. Since January 2, 2000 the Center has engaged in research and publications in the field of law and religion, built networks of opinion leaders internationally and in the United States, and participated in law reform processes that strengthen religious freedom around the world. The center launched the Religious Freedom Annual Review in 2014 to provide information and discussion on current religious freedom issues in the United States.
Full reports and videos are available here.