Freedom of Religion in Europe Today: Under Critical Investigation

06 - 07 May 2021

ISFORB Conference

Freedom of Religion in Europe Today: Under Critical Investigation

This international conference, organized by our Institute for the Study of Freedom of Religion or Belief (ISFORB), aims to draw up a state of affairs on FORB research in Europe. Three key challenges to FORB in Europe have been identified to receive particular attention:  (a) (inter)national crisis situations; (b) religious nationalism and (c) secular discomfort with religion.

Keynote speakers

Other researchers are encouraged to join us in this conversation and present papers on each of these sections or related topics. Academically interested practitioners are also warmly invited to participate in the conference.

Conference Program

Thursday, 6 May 2021
10:00-10:45 Arrival & coffee
10:45-11:30 Opening Plenary
Welcome and overview
by Jos de Kock (rector ETF Leuven), Jelle Creemers
12:00-13:00 Lunch
13:00-13:45 Plenary Paper “Freedom of Religion in Europe Today: Under Critical Investigation”
by Heiner Bielefeldt
14:00-15:00 Small Papers
15:00-15:30 Coffee Break
15:30-16:15 Plenary Paper “Challenges to FORB I: Crisis (EU in the COVID-19 crisis)
by Alexis Artaud de La Ferrière
16:30-17:30 Small Papers (Optional)
18:30 Conference Dinner (Optional)
Friday, 7 May 2021
8:00-9:00 Breakfast (Optional)
9:00-9:45 Plenary Paper “Challenges to FORB II: Religious nationalism (Georgia)”
by Tatiana Kopaleishvili
10:00-11:00 Small Papers
11:00-11:30 Coffee Break
11:30-12:15 Plenary Paper “Challenges to FORB III: Secular discomfort with religion (Belgium)”
by Jelle Creemers
12:30-13:30 Lunch
13:30-14:30 Small Papers
14:30-15:30 Closing Plenary
Panel Discussion: “Challenges to FORB in Europe today: a critical and multilateral discussion”

Call for Papers

You can find the Call for Papers here. The deadline for turning in a paper proposal is 1 February 2021. Quality papers of the conference will afterwards be brought together in an appropriate academic publication.

Practical Information and Registration

The conference will take place in our Leuven Center for Christian Studies, Sint-Jansbergsesteenweg 97, 3001 Leuven, Belgium (at the premises of ETF Leuven).

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 €80. PhD students can participate with a reduced fee of €55. MA students can participate for €15 (excluding meals). Participation in the conference dinner costs €30.

Several scholarships are made available by Open Doors International to scholars joining us from Eastern Europe. If you want to apply for such a scholarship, please send an email to .

A number of rooms is available at our LCCS conference center. With single occupation, the rooms cost €48 per night (breakfast included).

Registration is open!
You can register for this conference here.

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