Constitution and Religion: Church and State Relations in the 21st Century


Some separation of the institutions of state and church is typical of many modern constitutional democracies. However, the relationship between religion, the public square, and government is not always straightforward, and it can be challenging to get the balance right. This conference aims to explore these challenges and to consider the ways in which the state and religious institutions can coexist and interact in a manner that respects the rights and freedoms of all individuals and the non-governmental institutions of civil society.

The conference will bring together experts from a range of disciplines to discuss the intersection of politics and religion with a focus on Western democracies. In addition to addressing the challenges of right church-state relations, the conference will also examine competing visions of the role of religion in public life, from Europe’s highly diverse landscape to the dynamism of America’s religious landscape. Speakers will discuss the various ways in which different countries have approached the balance between religion and the state and will consider the implications of these approaches for the protection of individual rights and freedoms.

When & Where:

Date: Monday, March 6th
Time: 5:00-8:00pm EST
Location: 300 Independence Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003

Agenda & Speakers:

Arrival & Introduction (5:00pm – 5:25 pm)
Panel on United States (5:30pm – 6:15 pm)
  • Gregory S. Baylor, Senior Counsel, Director, Center for Religious Schools, Alliance Defending Freedom 
  • John Wesley Reid, Editor-In-Chief, Standing for Freedom Center, Liberty University
  • Nathaniel Hurd, Director, North America Action Team, Religious Freedom Institute
  • Moderator: Arielle Del Turco, Assistant Director, Center for Religious Liberty, Family Research Council)
Break (6:15pm – 6:20pm) 
Dinner Speech (6:20pm 6:45pm)
  • Mark David Hall, PhD, Herbert Hoover Distinguished Professor of Politics and Faculty Fellow in the Honors Program, George Fox University
Break (6:45 – 6:50 pm)
Panel on Europe & Eurasia (6:50pm – 7:35pm)
  • Paul Marshall, PhD, Director, South and Southeast Asia Action Team, Religious Freedom Institute 
  • Márton Sulyok, PhD, Head of Public Law Center, Mathias Corvinus Collegium
  • Mónika Palotai, Visiting Fellow, Hudson Institute, Member, FICE
  • Moderator: Szabolcs Nagypál, PhD, Head of Law School, Mathias Corvinus Collegium, Hungary
Closing remarks (7:35pm – 7:40pm)
  • Mark Tooley, President, Institute on Religion and Democracy
Networking (7:40pm – 8:00pm) 



Mar 06 2023


5:00 pm - 8:00 pm