Freedom for Us or for All? (Non-)Religious Communities and FORB Rights

05 - 06 May 2022

ISFORB Conference

Freedom for Us or for All? (Non-)Religious Communities and FORB Rights

Location : ETF Leuven

Language : English

This second international conference, organized by our Institute for the Study of Freedom of Religion or Belief (ISFORB), aims to give attention to diverse relations between (non-) religious communities and FORB rights. This topic can be unpacked by focusing on three levels of interaction. First, it involves the religious freedom of an individual within a community, the extent to which each individual can live out their personal (religious) convictions in this context. Second, it involves the freedom offered mutually by religious communities towards one another, accepting and promoting the other community’s freedom to believe and act in the way they deem right. Third, it implies the religious freedom given by any society to (non-)religious communities to self-organize and live out their religious or philosophical particularities in the way they choose. These topics will be introduced in plenary papers.

Keynote papers

Prof. Dr. Em. Eileen Barker (LSE/INFORM) You’re Free To Do Anything We Want: How States Enable and/or Constrain the Freedoms of Religious Communities
Dr. Bosco Bangura (ISFORB/ETF Leuven) Immigrant Pentecostal Communities in Liberal Belgium : An African Intercultural Conversation
Dr. Georgia Du Plessis (ISFORB/ETF Leuven/UAntwerpen) “Me”, “Us” and “Them”: Freedom of Religion or Belief and the coexistence of European (non-) religious communities
Dr. Brenda Bartelink (University of Groningen) Queens in the King’s Business: Gendered Paradoxes and Religious Freedom Within Religious Communities

Paper presentations

Nadezhda Beliakova (Russian Academy of Science, RF)
“For our freedom and yours”? Designing the discourse of religious freedom in the late USSR
Annie Cheng and Liu Yin-Chun (FOWPAL)
The Tai Ji Men Case in Taiwan
Willy Fautré (HRWF Belgium)
Abuse of State Control of Minority and New Religious Movements Through Taxation: A FORB Problem
Massimo Introvigne (CESNUR Italy)
The Xie Jiao Tradition, Taiwanese Governments, and Minority Religions, 1949–2021
Massimo Introvigne (CESNUR Italy)
The Secret of the Confession: A Thing of the Past?
Oleksandra Kovalenko (ISFORB visiting scholar, Ukraine)
Orthodox Churches in Ukraine: is there a way for reconciliation
Davi Lin (ISFORB visiting scholar, Brazil)
Reappraising a torn down monastery in Antwerp: an Augustinian theological response to Catholic-Protestant conflict
Adelaide Madera (University of Messina, Italy)
The status of non-religious communities in Italy between old tensions and new challenges
Anne-Catherine Pardon (ETF Leuven/VUB Belgium)
The Jewish Question and the Challenge of a Religious Minority: Gerhard Kittel’s Die Judenfrage (1933): A Critical Discourse Analysis
Dennis Petri (IIRF Costa Rica)
Challenges to religious freedom in the indigenous communities of Latin America
Eric Roux (EIFRF France)
Religious Confession Privilege and Scientology in the U.S. and Europe
Christof Sauer (FTH Giessen/ISFORB)
The Freedom of Thought Report of the International Humanist and Ethical Union: A Critical Assessment of Methods and Outcomes of a Transnational Comparison of FoRB
Rosita Šorytė (FOB Italy)
“Secretphobia”: The Modern Prejudice Against Religious and Spiritual Secrets
John Varughese (SAIACS India)
“Diminishing Religious Freedom and Subversive Adaptation of Christianity by Hindu Converts”
Yaroslav Yuvsechko (Khmelnytskyi NU Ukraine)
Functioning of New Religious Movements and Others Religious Minorities in Ukraine: Legal Status and Relations with Dominant Religious Communities, Society and State

Conference Program

The conference will last two full days. The conference program can be found here.

Practical Information and Registration

Conference fee
Because socializing, peer discussion and networking are key aims of this conference, regular participation in the conference includes two lunches and several coffee breaks. The regular fee for this inclusive participation is € 90. PhD students can participate with a reduced fee of € 55. ETF Leuven MA students can participate for € 20 (excluding meals). Participation in the conference dinner costs € 30.

A limited number of scholarships are made available to scholars joining us from Eastern Europe. If you want to apply for such a scholarship, please send an email to .

Leuven has a broad variety of hotels in different price categories. A limited number of rooms are available at ETF’s LCCS conference center. With single occupation, the rooms cost € 48 per night (breakfast included).

Registration is open now until April 15. You can register here.


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