IRF Summit 2023 | RFI Engagements

The Religious Freedom Institute (RFI) is proud to be a co-sponsor of the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Summit 2023, taking place January 31st – February 1st in Washington, D.C. RFI is hosting the following events at the Summit:

MONDAY, JANUARY 30th

IRF Summit University Partnership | 2023 Young Leader Scholarship Program

When: 12:30pm – 8:30pm

Overview: The Young Leader Scholarship Program — hosted by the IRF Summit and RFI’s National Center for Religious Freedom Education  — offers focused, high-impact training sessions for undergraduate and graduate students interested in exploring religious freedom’s role as a basic human right and foundation for human flourishing. Sessions will include:

  • Exploring, Embracing, and Expressing: Why Religious Freedom is Vital to Preserving Human Dignity
  • With Liberty and Justice for all: Why Religious Freedom is Vital to Human Flourishing
  • Defending an Embattled Right: Practical and Legal Solutions for Contemporary Threats
  • Dinner and Conversation with former IRF Ambassador Sam Brownback and Dr. Katrina Santos Swett

Speakers:

  • David Trimble, Vice President for Public Policy and Education, Religious Freedom Institute
  • Jim Bennett, Director, National Center for Religious Freedom Education, Religious Freedom Institute
  • Sam Brownback, U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom from 2018 to 2021
  • Katrina Santos Swett, President, Lantos Foundation for Human Rights & Justice
  • William Saunders, Co-Director, The Center for Religious Liberty, The Catholic University of America (CUA); Director of the Program in Human Rights, Institute on Human Ecology, CUA; and Senior Fellow, Religious Freedom Institute
  • Samuel Goldman, Associate Professor of Political Science and Executive Director of the John L. Loeb, Jr. Institute for Religious Freedom, George Washington University
  • Colten Stanberry, Constitutional Law Fellow, The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

TUESDAY, JANUARY 31st

U.S. Military Chaplains Abroad: Engaging Faith Leaders, Humanitarians, and New Chaplains

When: 11:30am – 12:30pm

Overview: Chaplains not only minister to military service members and their families, they also engage with faith and civil society leaders and military chaplains in host countries, promoting intercultural understanding and helping strengthen international religious freedom in many countries around the globe.

Speakers:

  • Eric Patterson, Executive Vice President, Religious Freedom Institute (Moderator)
  • Father Daniel Mode, Chief Chaplain of the U.S. Coast Guard
  • Chaplain John Craven, Resident Chaplain, Department of State
  • Reverend Graham Glover, Chaplain Fellow, Religious Freedom Institute
The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and Religious Freedom in Southeast Asia

When: 3:30pm – 4:15pm

Overview: There is a link between the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and religious freedom. In this panel, we will discuss how taking a more comprehensive and holistic approach to the SDGs and the global development agenda can enhance religious freedom, particularly in Southeast Asia. 

Speakers:

  • Jeremy Barker, Director, Middle East Action Team, Religious Freedom Institute (Moderator)
  • Eugene Yapp, Senior Fellow, Religious Freedom Institute
  • Adam Phillips, Director, Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, U.S. Agency for International Development
  • Katherine Marshall, Senior Fellow, Berkley Center, Georgetown University
  • Rehman Chishti, MP, and served as the UK Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief from 2019 to 2020
Religious Freedom and Diversity: Ethnoreligious Violence in South Asia and What to Do About It

When: 4:15pm – 5:00pm

Overview: Cultural, ethnic and religious diversity is a fact of life in South Asia. Diversity can be a source of great strength — but also conflict — in this varied region. In this panel, we will discuss the social and political impact of rising ethnoreligious violence in the region, and explore how a greater respect for religious freedom could reduce violence and foster greater stability and prosperity.

Speakers:

  • Charles Ramsey, Resident Scholar, Institute for Studies of Religion, Baylor University, and Senior Fellow, Religious Freedom Institute (Moderator)
  • Paul Marshall, Director, South and Southeast Asia Action Team, Religious Freedom Institute; Wilson Professor of Religious Freedom, Baylor University; Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom; and Senior Fellow, Leimena Institute, Jakarta
  • Farahnaz Ispahani, Senior Fellow, Religious Freedom Institute
  • Michael Kugelman, Director, South Asia Institute, Wilson Center

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 1st

Deep Dive into the human cost of anti-blasphemy and anti-apostasy laws

When: 8:15am – 9:15am

Overview: Anti-blasphemy and anti-apostasy laws are sources of great injustice that exact profound human cost wherever they are enforced. This session includes speakers who will shed light on this critical area of religious freedom advocacy.

Speakers:

  • Lindsay Rodriguez, Director of Development & Advocacy, Coptic Solidarity (Moderator)
  • Paul Marshall, Director, South and Southeast Asia Action Team, Religious Freedom Institute; Wilson Professor of Religious Freedom, Baylor University; Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom; and Senior Fellow, Leimena Institute, Jakarta 
  • Ann Buwalda, Executive Director, Jubilee Campgain USA
  • Kola Alapinni, International Human Rights Lawyer, Nigeria
  • Cheikh Mkhaitir, President of Lumière Sans Frontières, survivor of apostasy law
  • Muhammed Sayed, Founder, ExMuslims North America
  • Joseph Janssen, Brother of blasphemy law victim Shagufta Kausar and advocate with Jubilee Campaign
  • Mariam Ibraheem, Director of Global Mobilization & Co-Founder, Tahrir Alnisa Foundation; survivor of the
    apostasy law in Sudan 
Developing IRF Track: Case Studies from Kazakhstan, Iraq, and North East Syria

When: 2:00pm – 3:00pm

Overview: Despite the devastating impact of conflict in Syria and Iraq, particularly impacting its religious and ethnic communities, there are also positive steps being taken to advance religious freedom. This session will feature speakers from diverse religious communities, civil society organizations, and government leaders to share their experiences.

Speakers:

  • Jeremy Barker, Director, Middle East Action Team, Religious Freedom Institute (Moderator)
  • Salah Ali, General Director, Iraq Religious Freedom and Anti-discrimination Roundtable
  • Karmella Bousharin, Director & Board Member, Assyrian Aid Society of America
  • Badran Gia Kurd, Senior Leader, Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria
What is Religious Freedom, and What Isn’t It?

When: 2:00pm – 3:00pm

Overview: Religious freedom can mean different things to different people. How do we define and understand this fundamental freedom? With the IRF Summit Charter as our backdrop, this panel of experts will consider philosophical and theological underpinnings in defining religious freedom and how this is reflected in law and practice.

Speakers:

  • Cole Durham, Director, International Center for Law and Religion Studies,  Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School (Moderator)
  • Robert Destro, Professor of Law, Columbia School of Law, Catholic University of America, and Senior Fellow, Religious Freedom Institute
  • Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, President, Zaytuna College, and Advisory Board Member, Religious Freedom Institute
Learn more about the IRF Summit 2023 and register here.

Date

Jan 31 2023 - Feb 01 2023
Ongoing...