Growing international threats to religious freedom are coming under increasing scrutiny by Western democracies. Long a foreign policy emphasis in the United States, and more recently in Canada, the crisis in international religious freedom (IRF) is gaining greater attention in Europe, especially in Italy and the United Kingdom. Can these nations be effective in promoting international religious freedom? Will their own domestic struggles with religious freedom handicap their efforts abroad?
Pasquale Annicchino, a fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute and at the University of Salerno, discussed recent developments in IRF promotion by Italy and the EU. David Reeves Taylor, chairman of Christian Solidarity Worldwide and a former British diplomat, addressed recent developments in IRF promotion by the UK. The Religious Freedom Project's Thomas Farr moderated.
Pasquale Annicchino is a research fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, a fellow in constitutional law and comparative constitutional law at the Department of Political Science of the University of Salerno, and a member of the European University Institute’s Ethics Committee. Annicchino serves as book review editor for Religion and Human Rights: An International Journal and is a member of the editorial board of Quaderni di Diritto e Politica Ecclesiastica, published by Il Mulino. He has written on law, religion and religious freedom in Europe, and is a member of the ReligioWest project. This project studies how different Western states in Europe and North America are redefining their relationship to religions, under the challenge of increasing religious activism in the public sphere, associated with new religious movements and with Islam. Annicchino received his doctorate in law from the University of Siena, his LL.M/D.E.A. from the European Academy of Legal Theory in Brussels, and an LL.M from University College London, where he also served as editor in chief of the UCL Human Rights Review.
David Taylor is an international affairs analyst with a particular focus on the Middle East. He spent 17 years in the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, most of it focused on the Middle East and North Africa. He then spent 14 years as Middle East editor and deputy editor of the Daily Brief at Oxford Analytica. He now divides his time between editorial work for Oxford Analytica, the Lausanne Movement and other clients, and working with Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), the Religious Liberty Partnership and other NGOs on international religious freedom issues.
Source: The Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University.