On 19 June 2015 CIRIS hosted Amb. David Saperstein for a roundtable discussion with Cambridge academics on religious freedom in international affairs. Saperstein is the fourth U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom. He leads the State Department’s Office on International Religious Freedom and serves as the principal advisor to President Obama and Secretary Kerry on religious freedom issues. Prior to his current appointment, Saperstein serves for 40 years as the Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (RAC).
Here CIRIS research associate Chris Moses gets Saperstein’s views on the mission of his office and how it can advance religious freedom in challenging places—including in the self-proclaimed Islamic State.
CIRIS: Why was your office established?
In June CIRIS hosted Dr Annicchino for a roundtable discussion in Cambridge on the status of religious freedom in the EU. A leading scholar on law and religion, Annicchino is a Research Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. He has been Adjunct Professor of Law at BYU Law School (USA) and Visiting Professor at the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium). He is also a Senior Research Associate with CIRIS.
Here CIRIS managing director Judd Birdsall gets Annicchino’s thoughts on how the EU promotes religious freedom in its domestic and foreign policy—and how the EU approach differs from the US.
CIRIS: Is it possible for the EU to develop a unifying vision of religious freedom for all member states, or will there always be some variation between states based on their own church-state traditions and religious demography?