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31 May 2019, 4:00pm
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Participants in this year's Emerging International Leaders programme will be meeting at Cumberland Lodge for the second of three residential retreats this year, to explore international violations of the right to Freedom of Religion or Belief.

This year's cohort is made up of 50 international students, all of whom are Chevening or Commonwealth Scholars. They represent 28 nationalities and are currently based at 30 universities across the UK.


At 'Freedom of Religion or Belief in Conflict', participants will be exploring challenges facing practitioners who engage with issues of religion, faith or belief in their work, around the world. They will explore the key discourses around religion in international affairs, from academic, policy and practitioner perspectives, and look at what makes religious engagement so challenging, through case studies and personal testimonies.

We will also be exploring the emotions, power dynamics and identity structures that influence the way we navigate issues of religion or belief in foreign policy, and they will be encouraged to reflect on the relevance of religion or belief in their own work and lives.

Session titles will include:

  • How religious is the world?
  • What limits to religious freedom?
  • Why right-wing populists are embracing religion
  • Conflicts within Freedom of Religion or Belief in everyday life

Guest speakers

Confirmed speakers for this retreat include:

Dr Mirjam Künkler - Senior Research Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, author of Democracy and Islam in Indonesia (2013)

Jasvir Singh - Barrister; Chair of City Sikhs

Tobias Cremer - ESRC funded PhD scholar, Department of Politics & International Studies, University of Cambridge

Josh Cass - Forum for Religion & International Affairs

During their stay at Cumberland Lodge, participants will also have the opportunity to visit a local place of worship.

Equipping future leaders

Our Emerging International Leaders programme is now in its third year. It equips high-potential, emerging leaders and influencers with the skills and insight necessary to drive debate, influence policy and build a powerful global network in support of Freedom of Religion or Belief. The programme addresses questions such as:

  • Why is freedom of religion or belief important?
  • How does freedom of religion or belief intersect with other freedoms?
  • What are the successes/failings of existing national and international policies on freedom of religion or belief?
  • How can existing human rights frameworks be supplemented, supported and implemented?

Delegates hear from a diverse panel of speakers, including academics, journalists, legal experts and faith leaders.

The final retreat in this year's programme will tkae place in mid-July, on 'Freedom of Religion or Belief in Action', to discuss practical responses to protecting and promoting Freedom of Religion or Belief.

Please note that these events are only available to participants in our 2018-19 Emerging International Leaders programme. Participants for our 2019-20 cohort have already been selected, and we will be recruiting for 2020-21, early in 2020.

We tweet from these events at #CLFoRB.

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