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Course Description

Freedom of Religion, Conscience and Belief, a fundamental right protected in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the ICCPR, was, for many years viewed as something of an orphan right in the world of human rights advocacy. In 1998, the US Congress acted to raise the profile of religious freedom advocacy in US foreign policy with the adoption of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRFA). The wisdom of the decision to legislatively prioritize international religious freedom advocacy has been borne out by multiple trends over the past two decades. The first of these is the growing risks to a range of communities – both religious and humanist- who are increasingly targeted for persecution in many corners of the world. From Yazidis, to Ahmadis, Bahai’s to secular humanists, Jehovah’s Witnesses to Rohinga Muslims and many others, communities of belief have been targeted by authoritarian governments (and occasionally by liberal democracies -headscarves in France) around the world. Another trend that has at times put international religious freedom issues at the center of US security policy is the link between radical religious extremism and the threat of terrorism directed at US interests. This course will examine the state of religious freedom globally as well as the role the US has played in advancing this basic human right.

Basic Enrollment Requirements: Unofficial Transcript – Bachelor’s Degree or progress towards a Bachelor’s Degree + 3.0 GPA

Instructor Approval: Not required

Remission Eligible: Yes, first day of term; all university policies apply

Refund Policy: For-Credit 3+ Weeks

Affiliated With:

School of Arts & Sciences