Webinar Episode 8: Special Envoys’ Perspective

This webinar series brings in perspectives from several European special envoys on the intersection of religion with the COVID-19 crisis.

Webinar Summary

Emanuela Del Re opens the discussion with thoughts on the current status of religion in Italy during the crisis. She explains an unprecedented multi-religious coalition that has formed and underscores a more flexible role that religion must have moving forward. Daria Wołosiuk next describes the new and expanding role of envoys in the pandemic. She highlights the importance of facilitating humanitarian aid to religious minorities and other actions that Poland is taking in the crisis. She is followed by Michael Suhr. He describes the efforts of the Danish government to support the work of religious organizations in Denmark. Although wary of potential ways that COVID-19 could become a cloak for religious intolerance, he feels encouragement from the developments seen in Denmark thus far. Tristan Azbej then explains his perspective as a special envoy in Hungary. He reiterates the attention that must be placed on the emerging second crisis in humanitarian aid, particularly to less-favored religious minorities. Panelists close the webinar addressing questions on coordination between EU member states and the International Religious Freedom Alliance, the growth of ISIS in Africa, and methods for working with faith-based organizations in Europe.


  • Ambassador Michael Suhr, Special Representative for Religious Freedom or Belief, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark
  • Mr. Azbej Tristan ن, PhD., State Secretary for the Aid of Persecuted Christians and for the Hungary Helps Program – Prime Minister’s Office, Hungary
  • Ms. Emanuela Del Re, Vice Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy
  • Ms. Daria Wołosiuk, Special Envoy of the Minister of Foreign Affairs for Religious Freedom, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Poland


  • Dr. Jan Figel’, former European Commission’s Special Envoy on the promotion of freedom of religion or belief outside the European Union (2016-2019)