Does religious freedom help societies flourish? Does the freedom of religious individuals and institutions to put their faith into practice make a difference to the economic and political well-being of the world’s people, especially the very poorest? As legal controversy swirls around religious freedom in America and Europe with the Obamacare contraception mandate and battles over gay marriage, the broader social dimensions of religious freedom are often forgotten. A recent Pew Forum report showed that 75 percent of people in the world live in nations where religious liberty is severely restricted. Those nations are highly vulnerable to extremism, social discord, poverty, and corruption.
Rick Warren (@RickWarren), best-selling author and founding pastor of Saddleback Church will discuss these and other topics in a wide-ranging conversation with Timothy Shah, associate director of the Religious Freedom Project. Pastor Rick is a leading advocate on issues like poverty, HIV/AIDS, and education, and will speak about faith-based solutions to pressing challenges at home and abroad, and the role of religious freedom in advancing those solutions. The event is sponsored by the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and is open to the public.