Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Freedom of Belief: Countering Religious Violence

Date: 
Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 1:30pm
Location: 
2255 Rayburn House Office Building

Announcement

Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a hearing on United States’ policies on International Religious Freedom as a means for countering religious violence.

Global restrictions on freedom of belief, including both government repression and hostile acts from individuals and groups in society, are on the rise. A recent Pew Research Center report found that 40% of countries in 2015 have high or very high levels of restrictions, as compared to 34% of countries in 2014.

Religious groups around the globe are persecuted for their faith, a catalyst that can ignite greater societal unrest. U.S. policies seek to mitigate the rise of religious extremism and violence by promoting laws and social norms that bolster freedom of belief and release a pressure valve on social grievances.

Why are global restrictions on religion increasing, and how can U.S. international religious freedom policies prevent and counter religious violence? Are current U.S. policies on religious freedom achieving their desired outcomes? Witnesses will present testimony informed by their work on freedom of belief, and will discuss which policies are effective and which need to be reevaluated.

This hearing is open to Members of Congress, congressional staff, the interested public, and the media. The hearing will be livestreamed via YouTube on the Commission website, https://humanrightscommission.house.gov/. For any questions, please contact Jamie Staley (for Mr. Hultgren) at (202-226-1516) or Jamie.Staley@mail.house.gov or Kimberly Stanton (for Mr. McGovern) at 202-226-6379 or Kimberly.Stanton@mail.house.gov.

Hosted by:

James P. McGovern, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC
Randy Hultgren, M.C.
Co-Chairman, TLHRC

Witnesses

Panel I

  • Rev. Thomas Reese, Chair, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom

Panel II

  • Alan Cooperman, Director of Religion Research, The Pew Research Center
  • Robert George, Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University
  • Dr. Kamran Bokhari, Senior Analyst, Center for Global Policy

Documents 

Rep. James P. McGovern, Opening Remarks: Freedom of Belief [PDF]
Rep. Randy Hultgren, Opening Remarks: Freedom of Belief [PDF]
Rev. Thomas Reese, Freedom of Belief [PDF]
Alan Cooperman, Freedom of Belief [PDF]
Dr. Kamran Bokhari, Freedom of Belief [PDF]

Video

115th Congress