The International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF) is a UK-based charity working for freedom of religion & belief at a global level.
We have a century-plus history of encouraging interfaith dialogue & tolerance, with member groups in 25 countries, from faith traditions including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Shinto & Zoroastrianism.
With member organisations, regional co-ordinators, and national chapters around the world, IARF is well placed to obtain local perspectives on religious freedom concerns and issues.
An International Council of 15 members, representing numerous faith groups, guides the work of the organisation. Elected every four years by delegates from the Member Organisations and Chapters, Council meets annually and accepts groups into membership.
At the administrative level, regional coordinators initiate and support regional and local projects, while the International Secretariat in Osaka, Japan, monitors religious freedom concerns and administers worldwide programmes.
Most. Rev. Mitsuo MIYAKE - Japan
Dr. Shlomo ALON - Israel
Jeffrey TEAGLE - United Kingdom
Rev. Keiichi AKAGAWA - Japan
Rev. Eric CHERRY - USA
Dr. Homi DHALLA - INDIA
Jennifer DICKSON - Canada
Rev. Drs. Wytske DIJKSTRA - Netherlands
Morse FLORES - Philippines
Rev. Mitsuru HIRAOKA - Japan
Rev. Dr. Doris HUNTER - USA
Wolfgang JANTZ - Germany
Prof. Kathy MATSUI - Japan
Rev. Takashi NISHIDA - Japan
Adv. Varadarajalu RENGAPASHYAM - India
Adv. Mohammed Ahmad SHABEER - India
Dr. Yehuda STOLOV - Israel
Annelies TRENNING - Netherlands
Bro. Albert XAVIOUR - India
Our activities and work are guided by the principles expressed in two documents:
- Article 18 of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), 1948:
Our statement of purpose outlines our priorities:
"The purpose of the IARF is to work for freedom of religion and belief because it is a precious human right that potentially enables the best within our religious lives, or our search for truth or enlightenment, to flourish.
"It requires work on three aspects, any of which may constitute the core objective for the IARF membership in a country or region:
Freedom from oppressive interference or discrimination by the state, government or society's institutions on the grounds of religion or belief;
Mutual understanding, respect and the promotion of harmony, or at least "tolerance", between communities or individuals of different religions or beliefs;
An essential accountability by religious communities to ensure that their own practices uphold the fundamental dignity and human rights of their members and others.
"Thus, IARF works with and for:
- Groups from different religious traditions or beliefs
(normally those which share its values);
- Communities suffering from religious persecution or discrimination".