J. Reuben Clark Law School of Brigham Young University hosted the 25th Annual International Law and Religion Symposium of the International Center for Law and Religion Studies (ICLRS) October 7 - 9. This year’s symposium was titled “Human Dignity and Freedom of Religion or Belief.” The program highlighting issues of international concern and reviewed the state of religious freedom in this 70th anniversary year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Opening remarks were delivered by Ms. Ann Power-Forde, Irish lawyer and academic and Presiding Judge of the Constitutional Court Chamber of the Kosovo Specialist Chambers (KSC) in The Hague. From January 2008 to July 2015 she served as a judge of the European Court of Human Rights. Her speech was titled “Human Dignity in Difficult Times: Our Shared Imprint in a Fractured Family.”
U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback delivered the keynote address.
Plenary sessions included “Protection of International Religious Freedom and Human Dignity by National and International Institutions,” “Dignity, Religious Traditions, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” and “Possibilities of and Challenges to Protecting Both Religious Freedom & Human Rights.” Many of the breakout sessions were organized by region to address religious freedom issues peculiar to geographic zones.
More than 1,300 delegates from 125 countries have participated in these annual meetings to discuss religious liberty and to explore ways to better its implementation.
All plenary and breakout sessions were recorded and are available on the website of BYU’s International Center for Law and Religion Studies. English translations are available for all presentations.
From its beginnings, the Church of Scientology has recognized that freedom of religion is a fundamental human right. In a world where conflicts are often traceable to intolerance of others’ religious beliefs and practices, the Church has, for more than 50 years, made the preservation of religious liberty an overriding concern.
The Church publishes this blog to help create a better understanding of the freedom of religion and belief and provide news on religious freedom and issues affecting this freedom around the world.