International Institute for Religious Freedom

President: Prof. Dr. mult. Thomas Paul Schirrmacher

Thomas Schirrmacher

Archbishop and Professor Thomas Paul Schirrmacher, Dr. theol., Dr. phil., PhD, ThD, DD, DHL (born 1960) is President of the International Council of the International Society for Human Rights (Frankfurt), President of the International Institute for Religious Freedom (Costa Rica, Vancouver, Bonn), Co-President of Religions for Peace (New York) and President of the Bonn Abrahamic Center for Global Peace, Justice and Sustainability (BAC).

Schirrmacher was Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance 2021–2024, which connects Protestant churches belonging to 143 National Evangelical Alliances with a total of 600 million members.

Schirrmacher earned three doctorates in ecumenical theology (Kampen, Netherlands), in cultural anthropology (Los Angeles), and in the political science and sociology of religions (Bonn, Germany) and received several honorary doctorates and honours from the USA and India. He has given guest lectures in more than 100 countries. He has authored and edited 102 books, which have been translated into 18 languages. His newest books include ‘Coffee Breaks with the Pope’ (2016), ‘Corruption’ (2016), ‘Human Rights’ (2014), ‘Human trafficking’ (2013), ‘Fundamentalism: When Religion turns violent’ (2013), and ‘Racism’ (2008).

Schirrmacher regularly testifies in Parliament, in High Courts and at the United Nations and OSCE, e. g. in the German parliament (Deutscher Bundestag), the House of Lords, the EU Parliament, the US Houses of Representatives or the Supreme Court of Brazil. He is known for his role in the first ever joint statement by the Vatican, the World Council of Churches and World Evangelical Alliance on mission and human rights, published mid 2011. The German major newspaper ‘Die Welt’ calls him one of the three leading experts on religious freedom globally and “Pope Francis’ most loved Protestant”.