International Institute for Religious Freedom

The Violent Incidents Database is presented to the International Religious Freedom Roundtable

Dr. Kyle Wisdom, Deputy Director of the IIRF presented the VID to the Secretariat of the International Religious Freedom Secretariat Roundtable


Our Deputy Director, Dr. Kyle Wisdom had the opportunity to present the Violent Incidents Database to the International Religious Freedom Secretariat Roundtable, responsible to build civil society infrastructure to support the religious freedom movement globally.

Dr. Wisdom introduced the Violent Incidents Database as a new data collection tool produced by the International Institute for Religious Freedom that aims to collect, record, and analyze violent incidents concerning violations of religious freedom in all continents of the world for those with any or no religious affiliation of belief. In the last two years the database has already been used in the US government international religious freedom country reports, by the Observatory of Religious Freedom in Latin America on a Venezuelan case study, in an academic journal’s discussion on FoRB violations at the subnational level, in a special report by the US institute for Peace, a UN human rights council submission on Nigeria, and a USCIRF report on Religious Freedom for Indigenous Communities in Latin America.

The database is open for anyone to use and focuses on public web sources compiled by a team of researchers based around the world. The VID seeks to track the religious affiliation of both the actor and victim. The VID tracks 14 statistical categories like killings, abductions, arrests, sexual assault, and attacks on houses of worship. The IIRF will be releasing future reports with deeper analysis, but one interesting tidbit is that of the 7,454 discrete records only 20% of the actors stem from governments. 80% of the actors who engage in religious freedom violations originate outside the state. This suggests the strong need for public/private engagement between government and civil society. We would like to incorporate more data and partner with a variety of organizations. You can sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date with our published research.

Image: International Religious Freedom Roundtable website.