About Us

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.

IARF Leadership

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


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 Priorities

Our activities and work are guided by the principles expressed in two documents:

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".




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