Advancing International Religious Freedom in the Special Relationship: A Transatlantic Conversation


In a moment when religious persecution is rising around the world, and atrocities are being committed without consequence, this event is an opportunity to reflect on the present efforts of the United Kingdom and the United States to address this problem, and explore where there is potential to improve our response for a greater impact.

The IRFB Alliance, established under United States Ambassador Sam Brownback’s initiative at the start of 2020, is a concrete witness to progress achieved internationally on IRF policy. Twenty-seven nations joined the Alliance as it launched and at last count that number stood at 35. The world has a number of emerging leaders on IRF, it certainly isn’t a concern which is exclusive to the US and UK.

However, as London plays host to the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom 2022, in the year during which the UK Special Envoy is the chair of the International Religious Freedom and Belief Alliance, there is an opportunity to place a spotlight on the UK’s leadership on International Religious Freedom, and to gain the benefit of wisdom from the ‘old hands’ in the United States! The US is also at an important crossroads on IRF, so what reflections and inspiration could UK leaders offer to those in the US? How can the UK and the US strive together in closer coordination as we work to tackle religious persecution and advance religious freedom?

On the fringe of the UK-hosted Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief (July 5-6), this event is an opportunity to assess IRF policy and activism, for mutual insight, advice, and appraisal, and to explore a commitment to deeper partnership, along with all of the nations working in collaboration, towards international religious freedom.


  • Ambassador Sam Brownback, former U.S. Ambassador for International Religious Freedom
  • Rehman Chishti MP, former PM’s Special Envoy for FoRB and Member of Parliament for Gillingham and Rainham
  • Dr. Tom Farr, President, Religious Freedom Institute
  • The Rt Hon Lord David Alton of Liverpool, Life Peer, UK House of Lords
  • Nadine Maenza, former Chair, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom
  • The Rt Rev. Philip Mounstephen, Bishop of Truro
  • Msgr. Dr. Michael Nazir-Ali, President, Oxford Centre for Training, Research, Advocacy and Dialogue (OXTRAD)
  • Dr. Eric Patterson, Executive Vice President, Religious Freedom Institute
  • Miles Windsor, Senior Manager for Campaigns and Strategy, Middle East Action Team, Religious Freedom Institute


Aug 25 2022


1:00 pm - 3:00 pm


The Cellarium Cafe
Westminster Abbey Dean's Yard, The Sanctuary, London, SW1P 3PA
Religious Freedom Institute


Religious Freedom Institute