Article 18 of the UDHR states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”

Dear Colleagues,

Despite the efforts of many, a rising tide of restrictions on “Freedom of Religion or Belief” (FORB) continues to engulf our world, as the latest report in November 2020 from the Pew Research Center shows.

In this survey, we value your insights as a FORB advocate to help inform and guide the global efforts to reverse this rising tide. The survey begins with some of the same questions used by the Pew Research Center (which Brian Grim created when he worked at Pew) so that we can see if their findings match experiences on the ground. These initial questions focus on various types of "government restrictions on religion" and "social hostilities involving religion."

Next, we ask for your input on the degree to which other social, cultural and economic issues and actors might be new avenues for expanding advocacy efforts and impact. Are there common causes where we can partner with other human rights initiatives? For example, could businesses be an ally, as the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation is showing?

We also seek your thoughts on whether a multi-faith-and-belief FORB Roundtable would be helpful in advancing FORB in your country and region. The model for this is the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Roundtable that has been operating for more than 10 years in Washington, DC, with similar Roundtables forming throughout the world including in the UK, Iraq, Bahrain, Guatemala, Taiwan, South Korea, etc.

As part of this global initiative, we seek your thoughts on whether a useful organizing concept could be "Covenantal Pluralism", defined as the obligation, responsibility and intentional pledge to engage based on respect and protection of the other’s liberty of conscience. More than tolerance, (covenantal pluralism) entails the responsibility to engage, respect, and protect people of all faiths, and people of none, without necessarily lending moral equivalency to their beliefs and behavior.

Are other key concepts, such as "Human Dignity, Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms" useful frameworks for FORB?

Your participation in this survey is voluntary and your responses will be kept confidential. You are not required to answer any question, but we do ask at the start that you identify the country for which you are basing your responses. Also, other information we ask at the conclusion of the survey about your organization's work is very helpful in mapping the array of people and organizations engaged in advancing FORB worldwide. Thank you for what you do and for your help in advancing freedom of religion or belief for all.

Respectfully yours,

Greg Mitchell
Chair, IRF SECRETARIAT and IRF Roundtable

Brian Grim, Ph.D.
President, Religious Freedom & Business Foundation
Executive Director, IRF Business Roundtable
COUNTRY INFORMATION
The first question in this section relates to the country for which you are providing information, and the other two questions are about where you currently live and your nationality.
GOVERNMENT RESTRICTIONS ON RELIGION
The following questions are specifically about government actions; unless stated otherwise, this includes local as well as national government officials and organizations.

Question Title

* 4. Does any level of government ask religious groups to register for any reason, including to be eligible for benefits such as tax exemption?

Question Title

* 5. Do all religious groups receive the same level of government access and privileges?

Question Title

* 6. Does any level of government interfere with worship or other religious practices (including any cultural practices clearly connected to religion)?

Question Title

* 7. Does the national government have an established organization to regulate or manage religious affairs?

Question Title

* 8. Did any level of government use force toward religious groups that resulted in individuals being killed, physically abused, imprisoned, detained or displaced from their homes, or having their personal or religious properties damaged or destroyed? [Select al that apply]

Question Title

* 9. Does any level of government require a religious dress code or ban religious garb (dress, marks, emblems, symbols, beards, etc.)?

Question Title

* 10. Does any level of government interfere with people advocating for freedom of religion or belief?

Question Title

* 11. Has the government recognized an official religion or religions for the country, including such things as recognizing some branches of a religion as legitimate and others illegitimate?

Question Title

* 12. Does any level of government penalize the defamation of religion, including penalizing such things as blasphemy, apostasy, conversion, religious hate speech and/or criticism or critiques of a religion or religions?

Question Title

* 13. What best characterizes the role of education in your country in relation to religious coexistence and religious literacy?

SOCIAL HOSTILITIES INVOLVING RELIGION
The following questions relate to social hostilities involving religion coming from individuals and/or groups in society not directly related to the government.

Question Title

* 14. Were there crimes, malicious acts or violence motivated by religious hatred or bias? (Select all that apply)

Question Title

* 15. Are economic opportunities limited for some people because of their religious identity?

Question Title

* 16. Were there acts of sectarian or communal violence between religious groups? (Sectarian or communal violence involves two or more religious groups facing off in repeated clashes.)

Question Title

* 17. Were people harassed for wearing (or not wearing) religious garb (dress, marks, emblems, symbols, beards, etc.)?

Question Title

* 18. Were religion-related terrorist groups active in the country? (Religion-related terrorism is defined as politically motivated violence against noncombatants by subnational groups or clandestine agents with a religious justification or intent.)

Question Title

* 19. Did violence result from tensions between religious groups?

Question Title

* 20. Did organized groups use force or coercion in an attempt to dominate public life with their perspective on religion, including preventing some religious groups from operating in the country?

ECONOMIC ISSUES
The following questions relate to how economic and business issues may relate to FORB in the country.

Question Title

* 21. What best describes the typical workplace with more than 100 employees in your country?

Question Title

* 22. Do businesses and/or business leaders in your country promote FORB, workplace religious inclusion and/or multi-faith understanding?

Question Title

* 23. What impact would it make for FORB in your country if businesses and/or business leaders in your country actively promoted FORB, workplace religious inclusion and/or multi-faith understanding?

Question Title

* 24. If there were more economic opportunities, would there be less radicalization of the youth in your country?

Question Title

* 25. If there were more opportunities for people of different faiths and beliefs to work together in business and/or the marketplace, would that increase social cohesion and harmony?

CULTURAL ISSUES
The following questions relate to other cultural issues that may be related to FORB in the country.

Question Title

* 26. Are people refused important citizenship or other personal identity documents due to their religion or beliefs and/or associated practices?

Question Title

* 27. How often do issues that are not necessarily related to FORB intersect with your advocacy work, such as human trafficking, migrant rights, poverty, etc.?

Question Title

* 28. If there are issues that are not necessarily related to FORB that intersect with your advocacy work, what are they? (List the issues in order of prevalence using one or two-word descriptions.)

Question Title

* 29. Please rate the issues below in terms of how much of an impact they have on FORB in your country.

  No adverse impact Very little adverse impact Some adverse impact Significant adverse impact N/A or Unknown
A decline in favorability of religion and/or religious leaders
Government favoritism of some religions or beliefs above others
Government hostilities toward one or more religions or beliefs
Government restrictions on some religious activities
Lack of Economic Empowerment
Promotion of LGBTQ+ rights
Women's rights
Social discrimination of or prejudice about certain religions
Social hostilities involving religion involving violence
Societal religious intolerance
Secularization
Economic self determiniation
Freedom of the press
Access to healthcare

Question Title

* 30. How acceptable would it be in your country to have a social media campaign that indirectly promotes FORB by showing the positive aspects of of faith, ranging from highlighting its value and meaningfulness for people to its cultural and socio-economic contributions to society?

Question Title

* 31. What would be the best name in your country for a social media campaign to advance FORB?

Question Title

* 32. Please rate each of the following terms according to how useful it would be to associate the term with FORB in your country:

  Potentially harmful Not useful Somewhat useful Very useful N/A or Unknown
Pluralism
Friendship
Respect
Diversity
Inclusion
Human Dignity
Human Rights
Freedom of Conscience
Freedom of Belief
Religious Liberty

Question Title

* 33. How acceptable would it be in your country to raise awareness of egregious religious freedom violations by highlighting modern-day CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY, CULTURAL GENOCIDE and/or GENOCIDE related to religion, including cases such as the Yezidis and Christians of Northern Iraq under ISIS; the Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar; and the Uyghurs of Xinjiang, China?

Question Title

* 34. How acceptable would it be in your country on FORB issues to find common ground with the LGBTQ+ community?

Question Title

* 35. How often do people in this country collaborate with others outside of your their own faith, group or organzation to advocate for FORB?

Question Title

* 36. How important is it for people in this country to be able to collaborate with others outside of your their own faith, group or organization to advocate for FORB?

CIVIL SOCIETY IRF/ARTICLE 18 ROUNDTABLE
The following questions relate to having or setting up a civil society roundtable to coordinate efforts on common concerns related to FORB in the country.

Question Title

* 37. How interested would your organization be in participating a national roundtable of interested organizations to coordinate advocacy for FORB and/or other issues that intersect your work, such as humanitarian projects?

Question Title

* 38. How willing would your organization be to contribute time or resources to support a such a FORB Roundtable?

Question Title

* 39. As part of this initiative in your country, how useful would it be to promote the concept of "Human Dignity" for all?

Question Title

* 40. As part of this initiative in your country, how useful would it be to promote the concept of "Covenantal Pluralism”? (It is defined as the obligation, responsibility and intentional pledge to engage, respect, and protect the conscience of people of all faiths, and people of none, without necessarily lending moral equivalency to their beliefs and behavior.)

Question Title

* 41. Why do you think that the concept of "Covenantal Pluralism" would or wouldn't be useful as part of a national FORB initiative in your country?

Question Title

* 42. Would having your national FORB roundtable plugged into a regional and global network of roundtables help increase your impact?

Question Title

* 43. Please rate the importance for each of the following possible outcomes of having a sustainable global infrastructure for pulling people together and coordinating multi-faith actions that produce lasting legacies:

  Not Important Somewhat Unimportant Somewhat Important Very Important N/A or Unknown
Bridge building and peacebuilding activities to increase mutual understanding and respect
Citizenship and policy initiatives to advance religious freedom
Economic/business engagement, especially around the benefits of workplace religious diversity, equity and inclusion
Educational and training initiatives to equip religious freedom advocates and inform constituents
Social and humanitarian projects to increase mutual trust and reliance

Question Title

* 44. Please rate the possible names for a FORB Roundtable in your country:

  Bad/unacceptable name Not a very good name Good name Excellent name N/A or Unknown
Article 18 Roundtable
FORB Roundtable
Multi-faith Roundtable
Golden Rule Roundtable
Religious Freedom & Anti-Discrimination Roundtable
Pluralism Roundtable
Human Dignity Roundtable
SURVEY PARTICIPANT INFORMATION
The following questions provide helpful information about you and your organization.

Question Title

* 45. What is your organization's name?

Question Title

* 46. What is your organization's website?

Question Title

* 47. What is the main identity of your organization? (Select all that apply.)

Question Title

* 48. What faith community do you belong to, e.g., Catholic, Humanist, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, etc.?

Question Title

* 49. What is your highest level of education?

Question Title

* 50. Have you ever been harassed, abused or persecuted because of your faith or belief?

Question Title

* 51. What year were you born? (in YYYY format)

Question Title

* 52. What is your sex/gender?

THANK YOU
The survey results will be reported on line and in person during the IRF Summit in Washington, DC, July 13-15, 2021.

T