Dr. John Graz Receives Award


Dr. John Graz, director of PARL and Secretary General of the IRLA was honored on Thursday, October 10, 2013.  

The J. Reuben Clark Law Society and the International Center for Law and Religion Studies hosted its International Award Dinner at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington DC.  

Dr. John Graz received a handcrafted sculpture as recognition of his work in promoting religious freedom for all people around the world. 

Dr. David Little, Professor Emeritus of the Practice in Religion, Ethnicity, and International Conflict at Harvard Divinity School and an Associate at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University, has been associated with Dr. Graz for many years. He is a regular contributor to the annual IRLA Meeting of Experts which promotes religious liberty in academic circles and settings. He paid a moving tribute to John Graz. Dr Little highlighted John Graz’s determination and infatigable dedication to the cause of religious liberty. 

The meeting was well attended. Keynote Speaker, Senator Gordon Smith, spoke on the unique link between American history and religious freedom. 

Dr. Graz was specially commended for having initiated the now popular festivals for religious liberty, where thousands of people signify their gratitude to have religious freedom and their desire to keep it. The alternatives to religious freedom are unthinkable to those who have tasted the benefits of freedom. Keeping silence about religious liberty is not an option. 

In addition to the festivals of religious freedom, John Graz was also noted for his contributions to organizing congresses, symposiums, lectures, and workshops for the promotion and protection of religious liberty. Professor David Little ended his tribute to Dr. Graz by saying “We are all deeply in his debt.” 

In his response, Dr Graz thanked his team and his associates worldwide for their contributions to the cause of religious freedom.  He concluded, “In receiving this great honor, I feel I represent them and this Award is given to all of them.”