Working to promote freedom of conscience for every person, no matter who they are or where they live.

The Secular Challenge to Religious Freedom

The IRLA’s senior leadership voted to focus on the secular challenge to religious freedom at its 7th World Congress, scheduled for April 24 to 27, 2012, in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Although the Congress is over a year and a half away, intense preparations are underway to ensure it will be the largest and the best World Congress to date. Recent World Congresses were held in Cape Town, South Africa, 2007; Manila, The Philippines, 2002; and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1997.

“We are looking forward to a Congress that takes our cause to a new level,” states Dr John Graz, Secretary General of the IRLA. “We have chosen a very complex and intriguing topic. It may seem that secular societies are often the most tolerant of religious differences, but what happens when the very value that creates space for religious diversity—that is, tolerance—clashes against religious beliefs that are deemed ‘intolerant’? How should these conflicts be resolved? Is there a future for religious freedom even in societies where religion itself appears to be dying? This is going to be a tough, no holds barred, look at the serious challenges the religious liberty movement faces and the options we have to move forward in increasingly secular societies. Not only do we have an incredibly interesting topic, but the location of the Congress is truly second to none—a stunning beach setting that not many people have experienced before.”

Academics, lawyers, activists, government leaders and anyone else interested in defending and promoting religious liberty are welcome to attend the IRLA World Congress. Registration for the Congress will begin a year in advance of the event. Information will be available on this website.