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Freedom of Religion or Belief & Foreign Policy

Welcome to this website of the FoRB & Foreign Policy Initiative (FoRB&FPI) based at the University of Sussex. This is a collection of current research and resources from policy dialogues offering latest thinking and policy recommendations on FoRB and Foreign Policy by international experts, advocacy and religious representatives including input from policy makers in the UN, the EU, the US Department of State, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is organised around three areas of research and policy work.

Read our most recent Report on Interreligious Engagement Strategies and FoRB

Transatlantic Policy

FoRB is increasingly under threat globally as religious persecutions and discrimination appears to be on the rise in many parts of the world. As governments and organisations from Europe and North America step up their commitment to the protection and promotion of FoRB, increased coordination and reflection become a more urgent need.

Preventing Violent Extremism

It is becoming ever clearer that solutions to combat violent extremism must also consider conditions that facilitate it. One key response is to build open and plural societies in which FoRB is respected.


This webpage is a partnership between the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the University of Sussex to make available Open Access materials from the conference ‘Preventing Violent Extremism by building inclusive and plural societies: How Freedom of Religion or Belief can help’ hosted by the UK government on 19-20 October 2016.

Interreligious Engagement 

Engagement with religious actors and interreligious collaboration are crucial policy tools to promote FoRB and combat intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief. Religious actors should not only be seen by policy makers as victims or perpetrators of FoRB violations, but as partners in building long-term strategies to advance FoRB for all and foster pluralism, social cohesion and sustainable peace.