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Beyond Tolerance: Faith in the Public Square

  • 188 Russell Senate Office Building (map)

Dear Colleague:

Members of Congress and their staff are respectfully invited to attend the following staff-led Helsinki Commission briefing:

Beyond Tolerance: Faith in the Public Square

Monday, October 29, 2018
2:30 PM
Russell Senate Office Building
Room 188

Religious freedom is enshrined in the constitution and laws of the United States, Canada, and many western European countries. As participating States of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, they have repeatedly affirmed that religious freedom is a fundamental freedom and committed to respecting it. But over the past few decades, there have been shifts to language and attitudes of “tolerance” regarding faith in the public square.

This briefing will examine faith in the public square as a good in and of itself, a social good, and essential for modern democracy. Panelists will discuss the interplay between public expressions of faith and law, policy, culture, society, and human flourishing in the United States, Canada, and Europe. They will also discuss philosophy underpinning original and shifting understandings of faith in the public square.

The following panelists will offer brief remarks, followed by questions:

  • Eric Treene, Special Counsel for Religious Discrimination, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice

  • Rev. Dr. Andrew Bennett, Canada’s Ambassador for Religious Freedom (2013-2016), and currently Director, Cardus Religious Freedom Institute, and Senior Fellow, Religious Freedom Institute (Washington D.C.)

  • Dr. Sophie van Bijsterveld, Senator, the Dutch Parliament, and Professor of Religion, Law and Society, Radboud University

For more information, please contact Nathaniel Hurd of the Commission staff at 202-225-1901 or via e-mail at nathaniel.hurd@mail.house.gov.