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Deep Dive

  • On July 17, we are hosting three separate, concurrent discussions for the attendees of Day One to unpack ideas generated during Day One. These sessions are hosted in three different venues within and in the immediate vicinity of the Harry S. Truman Building to allow for more focused discussions and a greater number of breakout sessions.

  • We invite topical experts, civil society actors, religious leaders, academics, and working-level government officials to discuss topics such as: best practices for religious freedom advocacy; limitations in forming, registering and recognizing religious communities; challenges facing religious minorities; combatting the rise of anti-Semitism and anti-Islamic behavior; and countering violent extremism; religious freedom and national security; religious freedom and economic development; cultural heritage protection for religious sites; religious minorities and humanitarian crises; international development aid and religious freedom; and mobilizing faith leaders around peace and development goals.

Watch footage from each of Day 2’s three tracks: Building Blocks for Advancing Religious Freedom (Track I – below); Emerging Trends in Religious Freedom (Track II); and Religious Freedom in Development and Humanitarian Assistance (Track III).

Building Blocks for Advancing Religious Freedom (Track I)

First Session

The “Building Blocks for Advancing Religious Freedom” track began with opening remarks by Ambassador Brownback and a presentation by a Pakistani survivor of religious persecution. The track’s first session concluded with a general session on “Different Faiths Advancing Religious Freedom Together,” which featured speeches by Sheikh bin Bayyah and Joel Roseberg and a panel consisting of Imam Magid, Rabbi David Saperstein, and Pastor Bob Roberts.

9:00 – 9:05 am Opening Remarks by Ambassador at Large Sam Brownback
9:05 – 9:20 am Presentation by Survivor of Religious Persecution (Pakistan)
9:20 – 10:30 am General Session: Different Faiths Advancing Religious Freedom Together
Introducer: Ambassador Sam Brownback

Opening Speech: Sheikh bin Bayyah
Second Speech: Joel Rosenberg, Author
Panelists: Imam Magid, All Dulles Area Muslim Society Center; Rabbi David Saperstein, Religious Action Committee; Pastor Bob Roberts, North Wood Church
10:45 – 12:15 pm Breakout Sessions (OPEN PRESS FOR REMARKS AT THE TOP ONLY)

During the off-camera breakout sessions participants in this track first joined conversations on the following topics: Addressing Challenges to Religious Freedom in sub-Saharan Africa; Addressing Challenges to Religious Freedom in the Middle East and North Africa; Combatting the Rise of Anti-Semitism; and Best Practices in International Religious Freedom Advocacy. Following lunch, participants attended a second round of breakout sessions on: Addressing Challenges to Religious Freedom in East Asia and the Pacific; Addressing Challenges to Religious Freedom in South and Central Asia; Multi-Faith Initiatives: The Role of Religious Freedom; Monitoring International Religious Freedom; and Combating Discrimination Against Muslims, Christians, and Members of Other Religions and Beliefs.

Second Session

After a number of off-camera breakout sessions, a presentation by a survivor of religious persecution marked the beginning of the first track’s second session. The general session “Parliamentarians Working Together to Advance Religious Freedom” was moderated by Special Advisor Knox Thames and featured speakers from Canada, Indonesia, and South Africa. A survivor of religious persecution made a presentation, followed by remarks by Former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair. Special Advisor Knox concluded the day with a summary.

3:15 – 3:35 pm Presentation by Survivor of Religious Persecution
3:35 – 4:15 pm General Session: Parliamentarians Working Together to Advance Religious Freedom
Moderator: Special Advisor Knox Thames

Speakers: International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief: David Anderson (Canada); Lena Maryana Mukti (Indonesia); Nqabayomzi Kwankwa (South Africa)
4:15 – 4:30 pm Presentation by Survivor of Religious Persecution
4:30 – 5:15 pm Remarks by Tony Blair, Former U.K. Prime Minister
5:15 – 5:20 pm Closing Remarks & Summary of Day by Special Advisor Knox Thames

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future