“I believe this special issue offers important insights that will aid the promotion of religious liberty for all, and especially for refugees and asylum seekers who often find themselves in vulnerable situations.” (Dr. M. Visscher)
The International Journal for Religious Freedom (IJRF), which is published twice a year by the International Institute for Religious Freedom, is its flagship product. It aims to be a trustworthy ‘platform for scholarly discourse on religious freedom in general and the persecution of Christians in particular’. The international journal is interdisciplinary and peer reviewed. The articles, documentation, book reviews, academic news and other relevant items are contributed by, academics who are credible authorities in their own fields.
It was two years ago, in 2021, that the Religious Liberty Partnership, the RLP, and the World Evangelical Alliance created the Refugees and Religious Liberty Task Force, and the suggestion emerged that the IJRF dedicate a special issue to Refugees, and Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB). It was this idea that resulted in the theme of the current issue: “Refugees and Religious Freedom.”
The special issue consists of two opinion pieces and seven articles on related topics, ranging from Biblical ethics of kinship, to the impact of religious freedom on asylum seekers and refugees, to Islamic insurgency in the Sahel. In addition, a book review by Dr. Jason Klocek of the University of Nottingham, is also included.
Of the two opinion pieces, Mark Glanville, Associate Professor of pastoral theology at Regent College, Vancouver, deals with “A Biblical Ethic of Kinship for People on the Move.” In his essay, the author traces ‘the arc of the biblical narrative’ beginning at the very beginning: Genesis. Rossana Muga Gonzales, of Open Doors, and Teresa Flores Chiscul, of the Observatory for Religious Freedom in Latin America (ORFA), explore “Political Repression of Religious Leaders’ Manifestations of Faith in Nicaragua,” analyzing the increase in restrictions on religious freedom, and church-state relations.
The other five articles are concerned with: the impact of religious freedom on asylum seekers and refugees; the link between Islamic insurgency and mass displacement in Burkina Faso; the involvement of women in peace building in northeast Nigeria; the plight of vulnerable refugees; secular humanitarian discourse and its effect on religion, religious minorities, and policy practice in the Netherlands; the challenge of assessing religiously based asylum claims in the European legal framework, and the credibility in conversion-based asylum claims.
We believe you will find the well-researched information presented to you both informative and impactful. Expect the next issue of the IJRF in July 2023.