WASHINGTON—The Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, also known as the Helsinki Commission, today announced the following briefing:
Faith in the Public Square
Monday, October 29, 2018
Russell Senate Office Building
Live Webcast: www.facebook.com/HelsinkiCommission
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); current Director, Cardus Religious Freedom Institute
- Dr. Sophie van Bijsterveld, Senator, Dutch Parliament, and Professor of Religion, Law and Society, Radboud University