Consultation: Future of Religious Freedom Advocacy

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.
— Article 18, Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Freedom of religion and belief is a fundamental human right. It cannot be denied to an individual even in most extreme circumstances. However, we are witnessing a worrying trend of increasing persecution of individuals on the basis of their religions or beliefs, including atheism. As persecution evolves from being state oppression to abuses committed by non-state actors and local communities, human rights promotion and protection efforts on religious freedom are facing serious challenges in adopting to new conditions. 

On December 15, CRGA is gathering a group of 30 officials, NGO and faith leaders, and experts in London from UK, Kenya, Canada, USA, Ghana, Lebanon, Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, Nigeria, Morocco, and Turkey with Christian, Sunni, Shiite, Ahmadi, Baha'i, Mormon, Jewish and of no religious backgrounds. The day long consultation is to focus on current trends in key countries and issues, reflections on what kind of strategies to address them work or do not, and what type of advocacy needs to be pursued. The gathering is unique as it provides a neutral space both for officials who work on these issues as well as people who live in persecuted setting to come together and reflect with a desire to develop better solutions. 

While the discussions in the consultation are confidential, CRGA will release a general document summarising key points and proposals.