Religious Freedom

IAMS Study Group “Religious Freedom, Persecution and Mission”

Contact for study group: Prof. Dr. Christof Sauer, PO Box 1336, Sun Valley 7985 (Cape Town), Rep South Africa, Tel +27 21 783 0823, Email: Christof(at)iirf.eu  //  Dr. Wolfgang Häde (co-convenor): whaede(at)swissmail.org

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Call for Papers for the Scholarly Track of the Consultation “Christian Women Under Pressure for Their Faith II”, Evangelische Theologische Faculteit Leuven/Belgium, June 1 – 3, 2017. (02/2017).

This second Consultation seeks to build upon the foundation of the Marcham Conference in March 2016 on Women and Persecution. We again hope to draw practitioners and academics together to share learning through both practical reflection and critical thinking within a foundation of prayer. We will examine practices that support persecuted women and look in more depth at the unique and painful issues that women face in hostile and abusive environments where they suffer in identifying with Christ. The presenters for the plenary part of the consultation have been determined already by the consultation organizers. For more details see the consultation invitation.

For the Scholarly Track of the Consultation, up to 8 academic papers related to the topic of the consultation will be considered. They will be spread over four one-hour sessions throughout the consultation.

These papers might be published in post-conference outlets, such as the International Journal for Religious Freedom subject to peer review.

The Scholarly Track is organized conjointly by the International Institute for Religious Freedom (IIRF), the Initiative for the Study of Freedom of Religion or Belief (ISFORB) at ETF Leuven and the Study Group on Religious Freedom, Persecution and Mission of the International Association for Mission Studies (IAMS).

Presenters at the Scholarly Track are expected to:

  1. a) attend all sessions of the Track and to engage with the other papers,
  2. b) attend the whole consultation, and
  3. c) give their informal input in the plenary sessions and group discussions too,

as this is as a working consultation to explore issues and to bring together expertise of scholars and practitioners.

There are also non-presenting consultation participants expected in the scholarly track.

With around 100 participants expected, there might be between 10 – 30 people in the track.

Timeline 1. Proposals of papers with 250-word abstract are due by 28 February 2017. 2. Applicants will be notified of the acceptance of their papers by 20 March 2017. 3. Consultation registration deadline is 24 March 2017. 4. Draft papers of 2000 words are due by 30 April 2016.

Guidelines for writing paper: 1. Papers presented during the conference are not to exceed 2000 words (without footnotes and references) or 20 minutes to allow 10 minutes to be allocated to questions and answers. 2. If papers are to be published in post-conference outlets (e.g. IJRF) they may be developed depending on the guidelines of the journal/ publisher.

Process governing acceptance of paper 1. All proposals with abstracts will be reviewed by the Selection Committee of the Consultation. 2. Please submit your proposal to the Coordinator of the Selection Committee, Dr. Wolfgang Häde. E-mail: whaede@swissmail.org

Papers admittance criteria While writing your paper and before submission, check that you can answer the following questions positively:

  1. Is your paper topic relevant to the topic of the Working Consultation?
  2. In what way does your paper make an original contribution to the topic?
  3. Does your paper show the following features: • Clarity and logic of argument; • Originality and concreteness of content; • Level of engagement with relevant scholarship; • Accuracy of form, expression, and language inclusiveness.
  4. Is your paper abstract less than 250 words, and your draft paper for presentation less than 2000 words?

Please do not forget to also REGISTER for the Consultation:

Registrations are to be sent to the Consultation Facilitator elizabethm@od.org  before 24 March 2017.

See further information on the Consultation here: CWuPftF Consultation – General Invitation

Kind regards, on behalf of the Convenor of the Scholarly Track, Prof. Dr. Christof Sauer, and the Consultation Planning Team,

Dr. Wolfgang Häde, Coordinator of the Paper Selection Committee

whaede@swissmail.org

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Worldwide Increase of Conversions and of Violations of Human Rights (09/2016)

Study Group “Religious Freedom, Persecution and Mission” at Assembly of IAMS in Seoul

Today there is a worldwide increase of conversions to other religions, especially from Islam to Christian faith. Some of the reasons for this trend are growing mobility, easier access to media, the revolutionary growth of global communication and a disillusionment with certain aspects of existing religions. One result of this development is a parallel increase in violations of religious freedom.

These were some of the conclusions of the Study Group “Religious Freedom, Persecution and Mission” during the 14th Assembly of the “International Association for Mission Studies” (IAMS). The quadrennial assembly of the association from 11-17 August in the South Korean capital Seoul brought together about 130 mission scholars from all continents. In plenary sessions and in eight different study groups the participants shared research connected with the topic “Conversions and Transformations: Missiological Approaches to Religious Change”.

The Convenor of the Study Group “Religious Freedom, Persecution and Mission” is Prof. Christof Sauer, one of the directors of the “International Institute for Religious Freedom” (IIRF), co-convenor is Wolfgang Häde. Sauer presented a paper about recently published compendiums on the topic of “Mission and Persecution”. Häde spoke about strengthening the identity of converts from Islam. Eshete Tibebe´s paper described the “Ethiopian Pentecostals and their persecution experience”, Jayakumar Ramachandran analyzed conversion from the perspective of Christian mission in India and Nepal. Other presentations in the framework of the study group came from Brazil, Egypt, Korea and Central Asia.

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New IAMS study group: “Religious freedom and persecution” (12/2012)

Christof Sauer, Convenor of the Study Group

Christof Sauer, Convenor of the Study Group

Nine IAMS members agreed to form an ongoing IAMS Study Group on the topic of “Religious freedom and persecution” during a lunchtime meeting on  Saturday 18 August 2012 at the  IAMS Conference in Toronto.

The rationale for the study group is that much of religious persecution occurs in various different relationships to Christian mission, evangelism, witness, conversion, etc. In addition a rather large proportion of studies pertaining to religious persecution are undertaken within the discipline of missiology.

The participants elected Prof. Dr. Christof Sauer (Director of the International Institute for Religious Freedom, Cape Town Bureau, South Africa) as the convenor and doctoral candidate Wolfgang Haede (Turkey) as co-convenor.

The participants agreed to the following steps:

  • The convenors establish an electronic forum for email exchange and document repository and will register the names of the initial participants.
  • The participants ask the IAMS-Executive to give their blessing to this new group and to advertise it through IAMS channels.
  • The participants will receive a document that will enable them to invite other interested parties.

Four more members joined the group after the initial meeting. IAMS members and any other interested parties are welcome to register.


 

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“Freedom of Belief & Christian Mission” is published (08/2015)

New Volume in Edinburgh SeriesED-Reflecting-front_thm

Hans Aage Gravaas, Christof Sauer, Tormod Engelsviken, Maqsood Kamil and Knud Jørgensen (eds), Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission, Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series 26. Oxford 2015 (Regnum Books), 494 p.

Online orders are possible under http://www.ocms.ac.uk/regnum/

Volume 26 of the Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series titled “Freedom of Belief & Christian Mission” is available. Five member of the IAMS Study Group “Religious Freedom and Persecution” contributed to the publication.

The “Edinburgh 2010” Conference marked the centenary of the legendary World Missionary Conference, Edinburg 1910. An important part of the Edinburgh 2010 study process is the “Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series” published under the label of “Regnum Books International” by the “Oxford Centre for Mission Studies” which aspires to unite researchers from a diverse denominational background to reflect on Christian mission. Some of the volumes of the series present the official outcome of the Edinburgh Conference while others contain the results of various study groups.

Volume 26 “Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission” covers a large variety of aspects of worldwide pressure on Christians. On almost 500 pages first a theoretical framework is given. Some chapters deal with historical and theological aspects. Case studies are among others from Egypt, Turkey, Ethiopia, China, Burma, Indonesia and Brazil. A few “Missiological Responses” complete the volume.

Our IAMS Study Group “Religious Freedom and Persecution” has strongly contributed to the new book: Prof. Christof Sauer, convenor of the Study Group has edited the book together with Hans Aage Gravaas, Tormod Engelsviken, Maqsood Kamil and Knud Jørgensen. Prof. Sauer contributed the chapters “A Doxological Framework for Interpreting Discrimination, Persecution and Martyrdom” (together with Dwi Maria Handayani) and “Christian Solidarity in the Face of Discrimination and Persecution”. Wolfgang Häde, co-convenor of the group, wrote about “Christians in Turkey as Part of a Western Conspiracy? A Turkish Perspective on Christian Missionaries”. Valentin Kozhuharow is the author of “Freedom of Religion and Christian Mission in Russia before and after the Era of the Soviet Union”. Hanna Josua’s contribution is titled “The Middle East: A Future Region without Christians?” One of the missiological responses is written by Prof Jan A.B. Jongeneel: “Do Christian Witness and Mission Provoke Persecution?”

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Book project: Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission (04/2014)

The Regnum Edinburgh 2010 Series is planning a volume on “Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission”. The IAMS Study Group on Religious Freedom and Persecution is involved. The convenor, Prof. Dr. Christof Sauer has been co-opted as one of the editors. Several members of the study group are assisting with advice on the outline of the volume and are volunteering as authors.

Twenty other volumes have so far been published in this project that could become the major series on mission in our century (www.ocms.ac.uk/regnum).

Christian mission takes place in a world where there are increasing interreligious tensions, including violence and persecution. Politics, economics, religion, ethnicity and other factors play a role in these tensions. Christians too are involved in such conflicts, sometimes as those who are persecuted and sometimes as those participating in violence.

The purpose of a volume on Freedom of Belief and Christian Mission is to bring to public attention a broad overview on the history, development and perspectives on the role of mission and freedom of belief and to reflect on these issues within a context of authentic witness in mission. There is, as far as we know, no other conceptual treatment of this issue from such a broad ecumenical perspective.

The editors are Hans Aage Gravaas, Stefanus Alliance International, Tormod Engelsviken, MF Norwegian School of Theology, Christof Sauer, IIRF – International Institute for Religious Freedom, South Africa, and Knud Jørgensen, Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series/MF Norwegian School of Theology.

Interested IAMS members may inquire for details with: Christof@iirf.eu

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International Consultation on Religious Freedom Research (03/2013)

The new Study Group „Religious Freedom and Persecution“ had its first regular meeting in the framework of the International Consultation on Religious Freedom Research, Istanbul, Turkey, 16-18 March 2013. The consultation was organized by the “International Institute of Religious Freedom” (Bonn, Cape Town, and Colombo) and the Research Group for Human Geography at the University of Tubingen, Germany.

This Consultation was the first of its kind and brought together activists and academics in theology, laws, geography who presented research about Religious Freedom. Istanbul as the city on two continents and often seen as a bridge between East and West was a great location for a consultation on a worldwide issue. Participants came from all continents. Thirty-three papers were presented in plenary sessions or in one of the two working groups.

Todd Johnson from the Institute of Culture, Religion & World Affairs at the Boston University spoke about the effects of “global trends of religious demography on religious freedom”. Rod Boyd-MacMillan and Frans Veerman, researchers for Open Doors International, presented „First experiences with the new World Watch List methodology.“ Christof Sauer from IIRF, the convenor of our study group gave „A critical analysis of the new questionnaire for the World Watch List.“

International Consultation in Istanbul

International Consultation in Istanbul

In the Working Group 2 with a special focus on theological and missiological implications of religious freedom among others Wolfgang Haede, co-convenor of the IAMS Group presented his research about „Perceptions of Christians in Turkey“ as evaluated in Turkish newspapers. Doctoral candidate Daniel Roethlisberger spoke about his exegetical-theological study on „Contents and limits of assistance and self-help for persecuted Christians“. Nigerian scholar Yusuf Turaki offered his insights into „The Systematic Persecution, Marginalization, Discrimination of Christians of Northern Origin in the Northern States of Nigeria“.

Many participants expressed their appreciation of the interdisciplinary exchange of results on research about religious freedom and pleaded for a continuation of this kind of format.

See a detailed report on the Consultation under this link:

http://www.iirf.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/IIRF_Reports/iirf_report_7_a.pdf.

Contact for study group: Prof. Dr. Christof Sauer, PO Box 1336, Sun Valley 7985 (Cape Town), Rep South Africa, Tel +27 21 783 0823, Email: Christof@iirf.eu  //  Wolfgang Häde (co-convenor): whaede@swissmail.org