15 - 17 November 2015
Facing the rise of religious persecution worldwide, IPPFoRB – in partnership with Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, the Church of England, the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, and the US Commission on International Religious Freedom – hosted an unprecedented gathering of nearly 100 parliamentarians from 45 countries in New York City. The First International Parliamentarians Conference – Multinational Efforts to Promote Freedom of Religion or Belief – placed a particular focus on concrete actions to incite change. Highlights of the conference included:
The signing of the New York Resolution on Freedom of Religion or Belief, committing signatories to renewed action to promote religious freedom.
The signing of three advocacy letters by conference participants (Myanmar, Iran, Vietnam) in response to the growing threat of religious persecution in particular countries of concern.
The drafting of Civil Society Recommendations. These set in motion an ambitious plan of consultation and collaboration with civil society on issues of FoRB.
Panel discussions among parliamentarians and diplomats on the specific threat posed by ISIS repression and authoritarian governments.
Hearing directly from religious leaders involved in the pursuit of FoRB, including a cleric from Iran, a bishop from Nigeria, and a Buddhist leader from Japan.
Parliamentarians heard from Naghmeh Abedini, the wife of American pastor Saeed Abedini. Pastor Abedini had been jailed in September 2012 by the Iranian regime for peacefully exercising his faith in private homes. 67 parliamentarians signed a letter calling for his release.