Faith and Freedom Summit

Join us at the Faith and Freedom Summit: Practicing what we Preach in Europe, that will take place on June 28th in Brussels, at the Solvay Library.

The Faith and Freedom Summit: Practicing what we Preach in Europe is a non-partisan summit, which brings together leaders from the various fields of politics, government, academia, activism and the non-for-profit sector from across Europe and beyond, in order to propose and develop initiatives that will put Freedom of Religion or Belief in Europe back in the spotlights.

These summits on Faith and Freedom are particularly appropriate in a year in which we celebrate the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights, a commitment which all European countries have signed, and a vision that requires increased dedication and action to go from an idealistic dream to a needed and expected reality.

Under international law, Freedom of religion or belief has two components:

(a) The freedom to have or not to have or adopt (which includes the right to change) a religion or belief of one’s choice, and

(b) The freedom to manifest one’s religion or belief, individually or in community with others, in public or private, through worship, observance, practice and teaching.

With the adoption of the EU Guidelines on the promotion and protection of freedom of religion or beliefin 2013, the EU has committed to advance this fundamental freedom in its external action, including through its financial instruments. In doing so, the EU is guided by the principles of non-discrimination and interrelatedness of human rights.

The EU “focuses on the right of individuals, to believe or not to believe, and, alone or in community with others, to freely manifest their beliefs”. While these protections are codified, we have not realized them in practice yet. Faith and Freedom Summit seeks to remind the EU of the standards professed and push to put those ideals more fully into practice.