International Institute for Religious Freedom

Observatory on FoRB in the CPLP

Observatory on Freedom of Religion or Belief in the Community of Portuguese Language Countries

The Observatory aims at monitoring and combating violations of freedom of religion or belief in the CPLP countries and territories and protecting religious minorities against harassment.

Mission Statement

The Observatory on FoRB in the CPLP aims to:

  • Establish reliable facts on the restrictions of religious freedom in the CPLP countries and regions;
  • Make available results of such research to politicians, advocates, as well as the media and other researchers;
  • Introduce the subject of FoRB into academic research and curricula in the region;
  • Back up advocacy for victims of violations of religious freedom in the religious, legal and political world;
  • Cover religious freedom concerns wherever they occur in the CPLP;
  • Serve discriminated and persecuted believers in the CPLP;
  • Make publications and other research available as economically and as readily as possible to the CPLP countries and territories.
Thomas Schirrmacher during his plenary in Rabat presenting IIRF’s Observatory © BQ/Warnecke
Thomas Schirrmacher during his plenary in Rabat presenting IIRF’s Observatory © BQ/Warnecke

Affiliation of the observatory

The Observatory is an extension of the International Institute for Religious Freedom, which is a network of professors, researchers, academics, specialists and university institutions from around the world to collect and critically analyze reliable data on violations of religious freedom worldwide.

Areas of intervention

  • Addressing the topic with religious and Christian Leaders.
  • Engaging politicians on cases of violations of FoRB.
  • Implementing the topic in higher education in various disciplines.

Need for an observatory

  • In the CPLP freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) is underdeveloped; it is still in the process of being implemented even in Portugal and Brazil.
  • In other CPLP states such as Angola, Equatorial-Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique FoRB is seriously threatened and must be closely observed and researched.
  • Despite the country having legislation on FoRB, human rights abuses in the area of religion are frequent.
  • The scarcity of academic information on the issue of FoRB in most CPLP countries contributes towards the need to establish a FoRB Observatory.

Objectives of the observatory

  • To establish what legislation is in place pertaining to FoRB in the individual CPLP countries.
  • To ascertain to what extent each of these countries adhere to and apply national and international legislation on FoRB.
  • To identify whether FoRB is experienced by the individual citizens of the CPLP countries as well as in their religious associations.
  • To determine how the European Union’s directives, legislation and ethos impact the CPLP member states in general, as the CPLP’s headquarters are in Lisbon, Portugal.

More information


Observatory on FoRB in the CPLP
c/o Dr. Fernando Caldeira da Silva
PO Box 25673
Lake Side Mall
Benoni North 1527
South Africa

Phone: + 27 84 2961437