The eighth Religious Freedom World Congress organized by the International Religious Liberty Association (IRLA) was held on August 22-24, 2017 on the East Coast of Florida at the Diplomat Beach Resort on the theme "Hope, peace, and coexistence".
The congress brought together about 50 academics, religious leaders and government representatives, as well as 600 participants from about 100 countries to share their commitment to religious freedom.
Europe was represented by different university professors: Rosa Maria Martinez de Codes, Jaime Contreras, Jaime Rosse, Stephan and Alexandra Bratosin, Thomas and Christine Schirrmacher,Blandine Chelini Pont and Pasquale Anicchino. And among the religious leaders, there was Pastor Ted Wilson, president of the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
The program consisted of 14 plenary sessions as well as 12 workshops in English, Spanish, Portuguese and French.
The workshops in French were chaired by Stefan Bratosin, a professor at Paul Valéry University in Montpellier, and Patricia Sablier, teacher and secretary general of the Guadalupe Association of Religious Freedom.
John Graz, the Director of the International Centre for Religious Freedom and Public Affairs (CIRLAP), and former Secretary General of the IRLA (1995 -2015) gave a presentation on the promotion of Religious Freedom in a plenary session and hosted two workshops.
In conjunction with the Congress, the directors of the academic centres on Religious Freedom, Professors Nicholas Miller of Andrews University, Juan Vives of Plata University, and John Graz met to discuss the possibility of organizing meetings and to share several symposiums.
Already on the program for December 9-10, 2017 will be the Human Rights Day at the Salève Adventist Campus (Haute Savoie) and in 2019 there will be a great celebration at Andrews University. The main organizer of the Congress is Ganoune Diop, the current Secretary General of IRLA. For several years he was a professor at the Salève Adventist campus, an Institution of the Inter-European Division .