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This edition is made possible with the support of the Faith and Freedom Summit Coalition



By Basil A. Coronakis

Faith has been the driving force for the humankind since the very beginning of its existence. It is intrinsically related to Religion, which implies freedom of Religion cannot exist without freedom of Faith, and vice-versa.
Faith liberates from fear and inspires people to hope.
Hope is what gives people the strength to overcome difficulties, from confronting illness to tackling all kinds of calamities.
In all of humanities search for what separates humans from animals, it is indeed faith that divides humankind from other living creatures.
Faith is an eternal, standard value of reference in an ever-turning world.
It is a human need to believe and it is imperative that civilized societies secure peoples’ rights in this respect, thus guaranteeing them the ability to hope, which ultimately means freedom of religion.

Lighting a path to Freedom of Religion and Belief

Mairead McGuinness

First Vice President of the European Parliament.

The EU must work for Freedom of Religion or Belief for all

Ján Figel

Special Envoy for Promotion of Freedom of Religion outside the EU appointed by the European Commission.

We need FoRB climate change!

Neva Sadikoglu-Novaky

Co-Chair of the Freedom of Religion or Belief Roundtable. She has been working in the EU since 2009 and she is a fellow at the London-based Localis Think Tank.

Still looking for freedom 30 years on from the fall of the Berlin Wall

Eric Roux

Current Vice-President of the European Office of the Church of Scientology for Public Affairs and Human Rights and a well-known International Activist for Freedom of Religion and Belief. He has authored several books and articles on that topic. He is also currently serving as President of the European Interreligious Forum for Religious Freedom.

Freedom of Religion and Belief: Why it matters

Luisa Ragher

Head of Human Rights Division , European External Action Service (E.E.A.S.).

The European Union as an agent for ensuring respect

Georges-Elia Sarfati

University Professor, philosopher, France

Understanding religion

Speeches of leaders on Faith and Religious Freedom

Pope Francis

The Head of the Catholic Church and Sovereign of the Vatican City State.

Address of the Holy Father on Nuclear Weapons

Bartholomew I of Constantinople

Patriarch of Constantinople. Spiritual leader of 300 million Orthodox Christians worldwide.

The role of Religions in Europe

Federica Mogherini

Former High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Former Vice-President of the European Commission.

EU guidelines guarantee freedom of religion or belief and protect individuals

Red flags: When the faithful face abuse

Massimo Introvigne

Sociologist and Editor-in-chief of “Bitter Winter”, a daily magazine on Religious Liberty in China.

Bloodstained Toy Horses: Slave Labor of Prisoners of Conscience in China

Rosita Šorytė

President of the International Observatory of Religious Liberty of Refugees (ORLIR).

Refugees Escaping Religious Persecution in China: What Would Europe Do?

Guy Bucumi

Lecturer at the Faculty of Law of the Université de Sherbrooke. Researcher at the Research Chair in Law, Religion and Secularism of the Université de Sherbrooke.

Religious freedom in Africa

Willy Fautré

Director of Human Rights without Frontiers International.

Russia: Over a hundred believers of several faiths behind bars

Hans Noot

Director of Gerard Noodt Foundation for Freedom of Religion or Belief.

Rohingya crisis in Myanmar

Aaron Rhodes

Former Executive Director of the International Helsinki Federation of Human Rights 1993-2007. He is President of the Forum for Religious Freedom-Europe and the author of The Debasement of Human Rights (Encounter Books, 2018).

Human Rights Inflation is a Threat to Freedom of Religion

Extremism and the perversion of Faith

Reverend Bill Swing

President of United Religions Initiative - Ex Episcopal Bishop of California.

Is interfaith dialogue a way to combat extremism?

Robin Sclafani

Director of CEJI, a Jewish Contribution to an Inclusive Europe.

Interconvictional dialogue as a way to combat extremism

The role of Faith and Religion in our Societies

Martin Weightman

Director of All Faiths Network.

The Place of Interfaith in Religious Freedom and Human Rights

Bernadette Rigal-Cellard

Professor of North American Studies at Bordeaux Montaigne University in France. She directs the Masters “Religions and Societies” and the Centre for Canadian Studies. She is a specialist in contemporary North American religions (including Mormonism and Amerindian Catholicism), their international locations and inculturation processes.

The Revitalization of Religions

Brian J. Grim, Ph.D.

President of Religious Freedom & Business Foundation.

Religious Freedom Helps Businesses and Economies Grow

Bashy Quraishy

Secretary General of the European Muslim Initiative for Social Cohesion (EMISCO). Member of the Advisory Council of the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) in Brussels.

Europe needs to reinvent its diversity

Leonid Sevastianov

President of the World Council of Russian Old Believers.

The World Union of Old believers as a model for the Church State relationship

Valeriu Ghiletchi

Member of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova. Ex President of the European Baptist Federation (EBF) (Ex) Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

Freedom of Religion and the Council of Europe

Fréderic-Jerôme Pansier

Professor of law at University of Paris 1.

The Interconnection between Political and Religious Freedom

Petar Gramatikov

Trustee of the Global Council of the United Religions Initiative.

The Role of Religion in Society from the Orthodox perspective

Giulio Ercolessi

President of the European Humanist Federation.

Secularism, a principle fostering social cohesion, peace and freedom

Rev. Dr William A. McComish

Former Dean of Geneva Cathedral / President of the Association of Geneva Spiritual Appeal.

Promoting our Common Spiritual Values

Rabbi Michael Shevack

Founder of the Alliance for Enlightened Judaism. Board Member of Israeli Palestinian Confederation.

True Religion and a Truth-full Society

Archbishop Thomas Schirrmacher

Director of International Institute for Religious Freedom- Associate Secretary General for Theological Concerns of World Evangelical Alliance. President of International Society for Human Rights.

Three negative Developments endangering Freedom of Religion and Belief

Rabbi Albert Guigui

Chief Rabbi of Brussels. Permanent representative of the Conference of European Rabbis at the European Union.

Inter-Religious Dialogue between challenges and realities