NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief

Protecting freedom of thought at the United Nations in New York City.


May 20: Planning Meeting for Fall Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief

The Pew Research Center has released the sixth in a series of reports analyzing the extent to which governments and societies around the world impinge on religious beliefs and practices. The Pew report, titled this year as “Latest Trends in Religious Restrictions and Hostilities,” is perhaps the most extensive study on this subject, as it measures both governmental restrictions and societal hostilities.

Inspired by this Pew report, the United Nations Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief has started to plan a one-day conference this fall, which would be held at the United Nations in New York and feature Pew researchers, civil society, and government representatives discussing and analyzing the findings. The bureau is seeking the help of its member organizations to plan and coordinate this event, including speaker and other relevant suggestions.

This meeting will take place Wednesday, May 20, 2015, from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m., in the Bahá’í International Community United Nations Office, located at 866 UN Plaza (Suite 120), New York, NY 10017.

To RSVP, please email unforb@gmail.com


Panel Event on Women’s Rights and Freedom of Religion or Belief in Marriage and the Family

The United Nations NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief and its member organizations are pleased to announce that the Committee will hold a side event at the upcoming 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which will take place at UN headquarters in New York City from March 9–20, 2015.

This event will take place Wednesday, March 11, 2015, at 2:30 p.m. in the Church Center (Hardin Room), located at 777 1st Avenue, near East 44th Street in New York City. Continue reading


Save the Date: Side Event at 57th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women

The United Nations NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief and its various member organizations will host a side event at the upcoming 57th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which will take place March 9-20, 2015, at UN headquarters in New York City.

Our side event will focus on obstacles women face in pursuing the equal enjoyment of the rights to freedom of religion or belief in the particular context of marriage and the family. It will take place Wednesday, March 11, 2015, at 2:30 p.m. in the Hardin Room of the Church Center, located at 777 1st Avenue, East 44th Street, New York, NY 10017.

More information will be announced soon.


The Economic & Business Case for Freedom of Religion or Belief

It is widely known, though unfortunately often rejected, that societies which respect and protect the rights to freedom of religion or belief experience less conflict and violence, and enjoy greater social harmony. But were you aware that new research suggests such societies also see better economic outcomes?

Over the past year, this newfound connection between religious freedom and economic growth has received much focus and attention. Just how important is it to foster respect by businesses for religious freedom? How are state and non-state actors working to engage businesses to promote the rights to freedom of religion or belief? And how can civil society groups get involved?

To consider and address these questions, the United Nations NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief in New York will host a panel discussion on Wednesday, December 10, 2014 featuring Dr. Brian Grim, president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, with responses from Prof. Silvio Ferrari, an expert on freedom of religion and the law, and Jeffrey French, an expert in the peacemaking potential of business. Continue reading

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