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 www.observatoirepharos.com 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.