O-RE-LA: Observatoire des Religions et de la Laïcités - Université Libre de Bruxelles
The Observatory of Religion and Secularism is a project of the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Religions and Secularism (CIERL), a major Center of Research and Education at the University of Brussels. With dozens of top researchers specializing in religion and free thought, the CIERL is an internationally recognized Research Center in this field. It is accredited by the National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS) as one of the ten reference laboratories in the Humanities within French Speaking Belgium. The CIERL gathers in a multidisciplinary perspective historians, anthropologists, philosophers, art historians, philologists..., promoting basic and applied research as well as expertise and reflection. It organizes seminars and international conferences, publishes an internationally known journal (Problèmes d’Histoire des Religions), a review that echoes research conducted within it (Le Figuier), and the series Spiritualités et Pensées Libres published by the Editions de l’Université de Bruxelles.
Observatoire Pharos
The Pharos Observatory already has a fairly long history. The idea for a professional information organization serving cultural and religious pluralism dates from early 2009. Its promoters—a network of individuals with highly diverse philosophies and opinions—were unanimous: Pharos must be an independent, professional, civil-society organization; its composition must reflect cultural and religious pluralism. On January 31, 2012, the creation of the Observatory of Cultural and Religious Pluralism was officially announced in the Senate and welcomed by Senate president Gérard Larcher, in complete agreement with his newly elected successor Jean-Pierre Bel, in the presence of the minister of Cooperation, Henri de Raincourt. Nine months later, on October 3, 2012, the Web site was presented to the press. Syria, India, Cuba, Greece, and a few other countries are among the first to be treated. Another forty “Pluralism Status Reports” and the “Pharos Watch” will follow before year-end. The Pharos Observatory site is thus a tool for gathering historical, legal, statistical, and political information to elucidate the situation of cultural and religious pluralism everywhere in the world. For each country considered, an initial status report is drafted by members of specialized university and journalism networks. The daily “Pharos Watch” is activated on this basis, at the same time as the network of observers is progressively built.
Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights
The Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) is the specialized institution of the OSCE dealing with elections, human rights, and democratization. Within the broader fields of human rights and democratization, the ODIHRs expertise and activities focus on freedom of religion or belief and, in particular, on discrimination against individuals in the workplace and public services, defamation campaigns against minority religions or belief groups, the disruption or prohibition of worship even in private homes, censorship of religious literature, and imprisonment of those who object to military service on religious grounds.
Osservatorio delle Libertà e delle Istituzioni Religiose
The Observatory for Religious Freedoms and Institutions (OLIR) contains data, information, observations, and ideas about everything concerning law and religion: first and foremost in Italy, but also in other countries. OLIR not only intends to provide legal material, but also to organize this material on pages accompanied by observations, bibliographic suggestions, and references for a deeper understanding. Therefore, the mission of OLIR is to build something more than just a simple database. In fact, the laws, decisions, and documents found on this site are meant to constitute the starting point of a journey that allows the reader to obtain information, succinct yet complete, on his/her subject of interest.
Religare Project
The RELIGARE project is a three-year European research project funded by the European Commission Directorate General Research - Unit L Science, Economy and Society. It comprises 13 universities and research centres from across the European Union and Turkey. RELIGARE is about religions, belonging, beliefs and secularism. This new socio-legal European project investigates the diversity of convictions in contemporary Europe with a focus on law and on questions relating to management of pluralism under State Law. Secular State is an important constitutional principle in many European States and in Turkey. However, modulations of this principle differ to a large extent. Today, European societies are being challenged by a new diversity of religions and other beliefs. This diversity has been brought about by many factors, including the European Union’s expansion and important migration fluxes. The result is that many people now hold beliefs and values that were unknown before and/or that are different from historically protected religions or convictions. Not surprisingly, these persons are seeking recognition of their identities. By doing so, they test the boundaries, in practice, of secular State law. The divide between the public and the private spheres lies at the core of RELIGARE’s research. However, this borderline is not clear-cut and is not at the same place in everyone’s perception. Can the public sphere be simultaneously neutral and tolerant? Can new world views, social patterns and lifestyles be accommodated and/or incorporated in the public sphere? How respectful is the law of the private sphere? RELIGARE examines the current realities, including the legal rules protecting or limiting (constraining) the experiences of religious or other belief-based communities. Where the practices of communities or individuals do not conform to State law requirements, or where communities turn to their own legal regimes or tribunals, the reasons behind these developments need to be understood. The purpose of RELIGARE is to explore adequate policy responses. Adequate policies seek meeting points between the realities and expectations of communities and the protection of human rights in terms of equality and freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

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