Webinar Episode 7: Business, Economics, and Religion

This webinar centers on the status of the economy following the crisis and its implications for religion. 

Webinar Summary

Brian Grim begins by describing a maturing relationship between large corporations and their religious employees. He takes the growth in employee resource groups at Fortune 500 companies as a positive sign for how religion is taking on an increasingly valued role during an important time for business. Azza Karam then details the needed shift of religion as a positive force into the business and economic spheres. She also encourages businesses and individuals to remove prejudice that hinders wider acceptance of contributions religion can make to the global economy. Following her comments, Jeffrey Franks shares global economic forecasts and what that could mean for religious groups in the near future. Putting numbers to the grim economic outlook, he describes the ways we could see religion change in the next few years, as well as how the IMF is working with member states to reduce the economic hardship of the pandemic. Panelists then respond to a variety of questions, including whether the UN should adopt a council of religious leaders, how the religious sector of business relates to the work of the UN, the capacity of economic relief to mitigate financial difficulties, and the relationship of religion to the rising populism and authoritarianism following the crisis.


  • Brian Grim, PhD., President, Religious Freedom & Business Foundation
  • Prof. Azza Karam, PhD., Secretary General, Religions for Peace
  • Jeffrey Franks, PhD., Assistant Director of the European Department, International Monetary Fund


  • Prof. W. Cole Durham, Founding Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies, Brigham Young University