Working for workplace religious diversity, equity & inclusion


Monthly Archives: March 2016

Why Business Leaders are Making Peacemaking Their Business – April 1 – NYC

29 Mar, 2016

April 1: Why Business Leaders are Making Peacemaking Their Business

Brian Grim will join the Religion Communications Council in Manhattan as they build “bridges” among faith groups, find “avenues” to new communications skills and discover “intersections” between faith groups and the world at large.

Grim will speak on why business leaders are making peacemaking their business. He’ll answer several key questions, including: Why should business leaders care about freedom of religion or belief? How can we engage them in the cause of building innovative, sustainable economies where diversity is respected?

Facilitator Brian Grim, President of the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation, will draw on a massive body of global research on how religious and economic freedoms are connected. The Religious Freedom and Business Foundation accomplishes its work through research, the Empowerment+ initiative, global awards, world forums, and education.

Plenary and workshop topics at different locations throughout the city will include multi-religious activism, Google News Lab and the future of media, finding funding and resources, advanced social media training, and issues of religious freedom. Come be a part of the conversation in one of the world’s most exciting cities!


New York City

New York is a movable feast, a dynamic network of neighborhoods, peoples and faiths.

Our roving convention will allow participants to experience more of this great city and provide a focus as we discuss issues and concepts that relate to the parts of Manhattan where we will meet.

Friday, April 1

Location: Lincoln Center area

Time Event
11:00 a.m.

Photo of LDS Temple in Manhattan by David Steele, CC BY 2.0.

Light breakfast and RCC business meeting at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints center


RCC is grateful to these sponsors for the 2016 convention.


Business Symposium: Living Together In Inclusive Societies

29 Mar, 2016

Baku Business SymposiumEnabling business leaders to share innovative examples on how to take action and accelerate progress particularly in the areas of interfaith understanding, diversity and inclusion and the global refugee crisis.

Baku, Azerbaijan, 25 April 2016

The 7th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) will be convened in Baku, Azerbaijan on 25-27 April 2016. In addition to promoting dialogue, the Global Forum will highlight concrete action-oriented steps that enhance the three UN pillars of peace & security, human rights and development. Furthermore, this year’s theme – Living Together In Inclusive Societies: A Challenge and A Goal – will focus on diversity and social cohesion as means to combatting radicalization. More information about the Global Forum is available on the event website:

On behalf of the UN Global Compact, UN Alliance of Civilizations and the Republic of Azerbaijan Ministry of Economy, we are excited to invite you to a Business Symposium that will be organized on 25 April as part of the Global Forum. Please find below a short background note that outlines the objectives and format, but also provides more information on the registration process and logistics.

Baku-UNAOCThe Business Symposium will investigate the overall theme of the Global Forum with a focus on private sector contributions. The event will enable business leaders to share innovative examples on how to take action and accelerate progress particularly in the areas of interfaith understanding, diversity and inclusion and the global refugee crisis. Acknowledging your expertise and experience in the area, we look forward to welcoming you at the event.  

Background Note: Business Symposium 25 April, 2016

  • “Living Together In Inclusive Societies: The Role and Responsibility of the Private Sector“
  • jointly organized by
  • United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, United Nations Global Compact and the Ministry of Economy of Azerbaijan
  • 7th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Baku, Azerbaijan, 25-27 April 2016

The UN Alliance of Civilizations will host its seventh Global Forum in Baku, Azerbaijan on 25-27 April with the overarching theme “Living Together in Inclusive Societies: A Challenge and a Goal”. More than 2000 prominent leaders from Governments, civil society, academics, youth, media, private sector and religious organizations will convene in presence of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Heads of State.

The Business Symposium – part of the official program of the UNAOC Global Forum – will bring together private sector representatives from around the world to discuss and demonstrate their commitment to building inclusive societies, promoting cultural diversity, enhancing intercultural understanding and preventing radicalization.


With a view of highlighting private sector contributions to inclusive societies, the Business Symposium will advance the following objectives:

–  Raise awareness and put forward the business case for private sector action;

–  Showcase best practices to demonstrate how the private sector can foster social cohesion;

–  Serve as a platform for business leaders to exchange innovative experiences and corporate initiatives to promote inclusive societies and combat radicalization, thereby addressing issues such as the refugee crisis;

–  Generate corporate mobilization and contribution to interfaith understanding and peace;

–  Support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular SDG16, which clearly states the need to “Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development”, but also SDG8 on decent work and SDG10 on inequality; therefore elevating diversity and inclusion as a corporate sustainability issue of strategic business importance.


Registration is open to private sector representatives and their stakeholders, including Governments, civil society, media and other groups. As space is limited, priority is given to company representatives.

Participants are encouraged to work closely with UNAOC and UN Global Compact to promote intercultural dialogue and cooperation, to promote inclusive societies and cultural diversity. By joining the UN Global Compact and its Business for Peace initiative, participants can take action to advance peaceful, inclusive societies in conflict affected and high-risk regions. Furthermore, participants can engage with the UN Global Compact Poverty and Inequality initiative to incorporate diversity and inclusion principles in their corporate strategy.


Segment 1: Private sector representatives will discuss the business case for inclusive societies and how companies can take action.

Segment 2: Looking at inclusive societies, participants will explore how the private sector can accelerate progress in the area through a discussion on one of the following themes:

  1. 1)  Private sector engagement to address the refugee crisis
  2. 2)  Private sector contributions to interfaith understanding and peace
  3. 3)  Linking corporate diversity & inclusion programmes with corporate sustainability


Participants are kindly requested to register to the Business Symposium by emailing Mr. Jean-Christophe Bas,

For mandatory accreditation, participants are also requested to register to the broader UNAOC Global Forum through this link: interest/. Once registered, participants will receive an email confirmation that will also serve as the official invitation.

For further details on logistics, please refer to the Logistics Note.

Religion and Contemporary Security Challenges, Four Recommendations

25 Mar, 2016

Religion and Contemporary Security Challenges

Last year, the Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security Research (PaCCS) invited the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation along with policy-makers, academics and members of charitable and faith organizations to spend a day discussing insights from the work of four leading researchers (all PaCCS Leadership Fellows – see below) who have been studying perceptions about religion and security, faith and violent extremism.

The aim was not just to impose these research findings on the audience, but to engage everybody in a dialogue where the insights from the four Professors were refracted and filtered by the experiences of those who wrestle with these issues on a daily basis. Ultimately, the aim was to draw out a small number of findings – matched with appropriate recommendations – that could be communicated clearly and simply.

The PaCCS Policy Briefing represents the output from that day. It has been designed to be as accessible as possible, with a wide readership in mind. For those who want to explore the scholarly work of the four Leadership Fellows in greater detail,  links to their projects are set out inside the back cover and are included below.

The Briefing Note recognizes that responsibility has to be shared for making improvements to our understanding of the place of religion in contemporary security challenges:

(1) Politicians and the Press are asked to adopt a more mature attitude to the issues.

(2) Local Government, Charities and Faith Groups must counter alienation at the grass-roots.

(3) The Civil Service should establish a responsible authority to advise Government and legislators.

(4) Academics need to work harder to flag up and communicate their expertise to different audiences.

All of the above are encouraged to support art and performance works that can help express religious differences, heal divisions and bring communities together.

This policy briefing has encapsulated, in a handful of pages, the combined wisdom and insight of experts from many different walks of life. Participants at the workshop contributed, on the day, to elevating the debate about religion and security. The recommendations presented here could make a real difference.

The four leading researchers and their projects:

Professor Robert Gleave, University of Exeter. Islamic Reformulations: Belief, Governance and Violence aims to explore how Muslim thought has developed in the modern period, and how these modern developments relate to the pre-modern tradition of Islamic thought.

Professor Kim Knott, Lancaster University. The Role of Ideology, Belief and Commitment in Motivations, Justifications and Catalysts for Action in the Face of Uncertainty explores how ideologies, beliefs and commitments are employed in decision-making and subsequent public actions, both violent and non-violent, in the face of risk and uncertainty.

Professor Peter Morey, University of East London. Muslims, Trust and Cultural Dialogue explores the conditions for building intercultural trust in different spheres of activity. It explores the historical and philosophical underpinnings of trust in plural societies and is developing a ‘tool kit’ to promote trust and dialogue.

Professor John Wolffe, Open University. Religion, Martyrdom and Global Uncertainties 1914 – 2014 explores the interface between ‘religion’ and ‘security’ alongside new research on ideas of martyrdom and sacrificial death, engaging with issues raised by the centenary of the First World War.

Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA) Receive Religious Freedom Award

23 Mar, 2016

At the March 22nd International Religious Freedom Roundtable’s 4th Annual IRF Event* on Capitol Hill, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) received the Thomas Jefferson IRF (International Religious Freedom) Champion Award. 

The Awards were presented by Greg Mitchell, IRF Roundtable co-chair, and Kristin Wright, Open Doors USA Director of Advocacy. Ms. Wright’s comments follow.

Rubio awardSenator Marco Rubio

Today we are honoring Senator Marco Rubio for his extensive work in the area of international religious freedom. Among Senator Rubio’s many efforts in the area of religious freedom is his work as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and as co-chair of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China to put pressure on authoritarian regimes such as China to respect religious freedom for all.

He has worked on several individual international religious freedom cases, including one to help a pregnant Sudanese woman named Meriam Ibrahim who was imprisoned and sentenced to death for her Christian faith. Senator Rubio was the Senate’s lead sponsor of the unanimously passed resolution that called for her immediate and unconditional release. Meriam and her family were allowed to leave Sudan and are now living in the United States. Sen. Rubio also advocated on the behalf of Pastor Saeed Abedini, who was imprisoned in Iran for his Christian faith from 2011-2016. Pastor Abedini was released earlier this year and has returned to the United States

Today we would particularly like to recognize Senator Rubio for the central role that he played last year as a driving force behind the reauthorization of USCIRF, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, an independent, bipartisan commission dedicated to defending the freedom of religion worldwide. At a time when religious persecution throughout the world remains at an all-time high, the US Commission for International Religious Freedom faced possible extinction. Against many difficulties, Senator Rubio fought tirelessly for the protection of international religious freedom through the reauthorization of this crucial commission.

Senator Rubio, we know you haven’t been in this for the awards. As you have noted, religious freedom is under assault globally, and attacks on houses of worship, imprisonment, and even death are daily realities faced by persecuted people of faith throughout the world. And this is particularly true for religious minorities in the Middle East right now.

I want to take just a moment to encourage you that there are people around the world, victims of religious persecution, who would be here today to thank you if they could. Your work in this field has made a difference in the lives of people around the globe, and we want to recognize that today. Thank you for persevering in addressing issues of international religious freedom and being the tireless champion that you are.

On behalf of Open Doors and the International Religious Freedom Roundtable, we present you with this Thomas Jefferson International Religious Freedom Champion Award with gratitude for your efforts.

IMG_7774Congresswoman Anna Eshoo

This afternoon we have the privilege of honoring Congresswoman Anna Eshoo. Representative Eshoo has been a tireless champion of international religious freedom around the globe. Among her many efforts in the area of religious freedom, she is an original cosponsor of HR 1150, the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act of 2015.

Today we want to particularly recognize Congresswoman Eshoo as a driving force behind the creation of a crucial position, the Special Advisor for Religious Minorities in the Near East and South/Central Asia. At a time of tremendous persecution of people of faith throughout the region, this position truly does give a voice to the voiceless. And we are honored to have Knox Thames, who occupies this office, here with us today. Without the persevering leadership of Representative Eshoo, we would not have this influential position in place. Representative Eshoo, we are grateful for all you have done to ensure that the plight of religious minorities throughout this region is recognized and addressed.

Earlier this month, Secretary of State John Kerry determined the persecution of Christians, Yezidis, and Shiite Muslims in Iraq and Syria is genocide. But before that ever happened, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo and Congressman Jeff Fortenberry introduced a resolution deeming the persecution of religious minorities throughout the region as genocide. With 213 bipartisan cosponsors this resolution passed the House by a vote of 393 to 0 on March 14, 2016.

It was Congresswoman Eshoo’s pioneering work in the genocide resolution which ultimately pushed the Administration to make the right genocide designation.

Today we want to thank Congresswoman Eshoo for her courageous efforts in calling out the realities of persecution throughout the world. We want to thank you for being a voice for those who have no voice. Your efforts continue to make a difference in the lives of people around the world.

You are truly a champion of religious freedom. On behalf of Open Doors and the International Religious Freedom Roundtable, we present you with this Thomas Jefferson International Religious Freedom Champion Award with gratitude for your efforts.

Other cosponsors of the event included the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Faith & Freedom Coalition, the Seventh Day Adventist Church, and the Church of Scientology National Affairs Office.

Also participating in the event was Religious Freedom & Business Foundation President Brian Grim (pictured with Rabbi David Saperstein, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom). Grim announced the call for nominations for the Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards to be presented in Rio de Janeiro at the start of this summer’s Paralympic Games.

The Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards will recognize business leaders – current or past CEOs – who have demonstrated leadership in championing interfaith understanding and peace. ​These forthcoming Awards are a partnership initiative of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (RFBF), its Brazilian affiliate, the Associação pela Liberdade Religiosa e Negócios (ALRN), and the United Nations Global Compact Business for Peace (B4P) platform.

Grim also discussed the RFBF’s Empowerment+ Interfaith Social Cohesion & Enterprise Initiative, which is planned to be piloted in the UK later this year. The aim of the initiative is to help those experiencing a wide range of socio-economic risks including displacement, unemployment, isolation, crime, addiction and extremism through integration, empowerment & self-reliance. It is a tool to help build social cohesion and resiliency that will be one way to help counter the social and spiritual circumstances that contributed to such tragedies as the terrorist bombings in Brussels yesterday. 

* IRF Roundtable’s 4th Annual Event on Capitol Hill

Opening Discussion on International Religious Freedom

  • Dr. Robert P. George, USCIRF Chairman
  • Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, USCIRF Commissioner
  • Moderator: Timothy Shah, Religious Freedom Project, Georgetown University 

Presentation of Thomas Jefferson IRF Champion Award to Senator Marco Rubio and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo

  • Kristin Wright, Open Doors USA
  • Greg Mitchell, Co-Chair of the IRF Roundtable 

Call for Nominations for the Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards

  • Brian Grim, Religious Freedom & Business Foundation

Overview of the Situation in the Middle East

  • Knox Thames, Special Advisor for Religious Minorities in the Near East and South / Central Asia, U.S. State Department 
  • John Gallagher, President/CEO, Institute for Global Engagement

The Importance of Policy Responses to the Situation in the Middle East

  • Nadia Murad, Yazda Foundation
  • Manal Omar, U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Dr. Stephen Hollingshead, In Defense of Christians
  • Scott Lloyd, Knights of Columbus
  • Moderator: Dwayne Leslie, Seventh-day Adventist Church 

Overview of the Situation in Europe – Rising Anti-Semitism

  • Ira Forman, Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism, U.S. State Department 

The Importance of Policy Responses to the Situation in Europe

  • Engy Abdelkader, Georgetown’s Bridge Initiative, Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding
  • Eric Roux, Union of Churches of Scientology France, IRF Roundtable Europe
  • Brian Grim, Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (RFBF’s Empowerment+ Interfaith Social Cohesion & Enterprise Initiative)
  • Moderator: Timothy Head, Faith & Freedom Coalition

Actions We Can Take to Be More Relevant/Effective

  • Lena Smith, Office of Congressman Trent Franks
  • Timothy Shah, Religious Freedom Project, Georgetown University
  • Jay Kansara, Hindu American Foundation
  • Amanda Knief, American Atheists
  • Greg Mitchell, Co-Chair of the IRF Roundtable
  • Moderator: Matthew Hawkins, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention

** The IRF Roundtable is made up of individuals from non-governmental organizations who gather regularly to discuss IRF issues and propose joint advocacy actions to address specific IRF issues and challenges. The International Religious Freedom Roundtable meets every two months in the U.S. Capitol and includes participants from government and civil society. Its goal is to reverse the increase of restrictions on religious freedom around the world.

Open Doors USA works in the world’s most oppressive countries, empowering Christians who are persecuted for their beliefs. Open Doors equips persecuted Christians in more than 60 countries through programs like Bible & Gospel Development, Women & Children Advancement and Christian Community Restoration. It produces an annual World Watch List to monitor persecution.

Religious Freedom Is Good For Business, Part 1, China & India

17 Mar, 2016

The Media Project’s Vishal Arora interviews Brian J. Grim, president of Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, on how religious freedom affects business and economy, in the context of China and India and countries where there are religious restrictions without violence or tensions.

The Media Project challenges and equips mainstream journalists to cover religion as an essential part of public life. They publish content addressing religion, media and public life, with special attention to religious equality and press freedoms around the world.


UK Minister of State Anelay Priases Role of Business in Advancing Freedom of Religion and Belief

15 Mar, 2016

Baroness_AnelayComments by The Rt Hon Baroness Anelay of St Johns DBE, Minister of State, U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office, at a recent seminar highlighting links between religious freedom and economic prosperity:

“I will turn now to the focus of today’s discussion, the link between religious freedom and prosperity.

I admire the pioneering work of my fellow speaker Dr Grim [president, Religious Freedom & Business Foundation] in this area. His work is needed, because sadly economic cost is often more persuasive than human cost, no matter the misery we see on our TV screens night after night.

Governments need hard economic proof, and to validate it they need proof from different sources.

So it makes absolute sense to get business engaged in this agenda, lobbying alongside governments and civil society.

I know that Professor Grim is keen to see improvements in the business climate to ensure that individuals from all backgrounds and faiths can realise their potential.

I am pleased to say that we in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office already support his aims through our international engagement. Through our work on business and human rights, we regularly encourage other governments to create an operating environment that is stable, secure and transparent.

To conclude, I hope I have shown just how seriously we take the issue of Freedom of Religion or Belief.

I very much value the efforts of parliamentarians, NGOs, think tanks and others, and the emerging work on the link between religious freedom and economic prosperity. I look forward to further collaborating on this with you.

I will finish with the words of the Prime Minister: “Now is not the time for silence. Now is not the time for inaction. We must stand together and fight for a world where no-one is persecuted because of what they believe.”

It is an inspiring call to action – let’s work together to make it a reality.”

Following Baroness Anelay’s comments, Dr Grim introduced several of the Foundation’s initiatives to engage the business world in advancing interfaith understanding and peace, including the Empowerment+ Interfaith Social Cohesion & Enterprise Initiative and the Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards.

RFBF_BIPAwards_Web_BannerThe Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards recognize business leaders – current or past CEOs – who have demonstrated leadership in championing interfaith understanding and peace. Awards will be presented on September 6, 2016, at the start of the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where award recipients will have the opportunity to present their commitment to interfaith understanding and peace while contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 16: “Promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.”

The Awards are a partnership initiative of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, its Brazilian affiliate, the Associação pela Liberdade Religiosa e Negócios, and the United Nations Global Compact Business for Peace platform.

Negócios Globais & Prêmios da Paz Inter-Religiosa, Rio de Janeiro, 6 de Setembro 2016

12 Mar, 2016

RFBF_BIPAwards_web_banner-portHomenageando o Comprometimento e Inovação de CEO´s para Avançar a Compreensão Inter-Religiosa & a Paz Mundialmente

Rio de Janeiro | 6de Setembro 2016 | JW Marriott, Copacabana

Indicações Abertas


Os Prêmios homenageiam ações concretas e inovadoras que foram tomadas com o objetivo de avançar a compreensão inter-religiosa e a paz. Os indicados devem ter lançado ou liderado políticas, programas ou iniciativas que contribuíram para aumentar a compreensão inter-religiosa e a paz no ambiente de trabalho, mercado local e/ou comunidades locais.

Cerimônia de Premiação: 06 de setembro de 2016

Os vencedores serão convidados para a Cerimônia de Premiação, onde terão a oportunidade de falar diretamente sobre o seu compromisso e contribuição para o Objetivo de Desenvolvimento Sustentável 16. Os vencedores passarão a fazer parte de um seleto grupo de líderes proeminentes cujas ações também serão reconhecidas por investidores, empregados, clientes e demais interessados.

 Objetivo de Desenvolvimento Sustentável 16

Promover sociedades pacíficas e inclusivas para o desenvolvimento sustentável, proporcionar o acesso à justiça para todos e construir instituições eficazes, responsáveis e inclusivas em todos os níveis.


Os prêmios são uma iniciativa da parceria entre a Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, sua filial brasileira a Associação Pela Liberdade Religiosa e Negócios e, da plataforma da ONU Global Compact Business for Peace.

Indicações Abertas: 22 de fevereiro de 2016

Estão abertas as indicações para o Negócios Globais & Prêmios de Paz Inter-religiosa de 2016, que será apresentado dia 06 de setembro de 2016 véspera da abertura dos Jogos Paraolímpicos no Rio de Janeiro

Serão homenageados Diretores Executivos atuais ou passados que tenham demonstrado liderança e prosperado na compreensão inter-religiosa e na paz, em uma das seguintes categorias:

  • – Negócio Principal
  • – Investimento social & filantrópico
  • – Advocacia e políticas públicas de engajamento
  • – Parcerias e ações coletivas

Formulário de indicação e demais informações:



Awards Postcard


Business a powerful force - portuguese

logo_religiao_Brazil (1)


Religião e lucros

Pesquisador americano mostra que a valorização da liberdade religiosa pode se tornar um trunfo competitivo para o Brasil (Por: Rosenildo Gomes Ferreira)

Embaixadora da Boa Vontade: Jason Smyth


Saluting CEO commitment and innovation to advance interfaith understanding & peace

6 Mar, 2016

The Global Business & Interfaith Peace Awards recognize business leaders – current or past CEOs – who have demonstrated leadership in championing interfaith understanding, religious freedom and peace.

​Awards will be presented on September 6, 2016, at the start of the Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, where award recipients will have the opportunity to present their commitment to interfaith understanding and peace while contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 16.*

The Awards are a partnership initiative of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (RFBF), its Brazilian affiliate, the Associação pela Liberdade Religiosa e Negócios (ALRN), and the United Nations Global Compact Business for Peace (B4P) platform.


Core business
Championing interfaith understanding and peace through a company’s core business operations, including internal procedures, human resources hiring practices, training, product/service development, sourcing policies, supply chains, as well as the development of products and services that promote interfaith understanding and peace.

Social investment and philanthropy
Financial and in-kind contributions, and strategic social investment support for NGOs, UN and multilateral agencies or directly to affected communities and/or contribution of functional expertise through volunteering efforts.

Advocacy and public policy engagement
Fostering social cohesion and inter-group dialogue and relationship-building in the workplace, marketplace and local community.

Partnership and collective action
Joining forces with Governments, UN entities, civil society organizations and/or other businesses to act collectively to promote interfaith understanding and peace and forge long-term partnerships for local or regional economic and sustainable development.

Nomination Period: 22 February – 30 April 2016

→ Nominations Information & Form

Read Business Examples

DOWNLOAD: Awards 2016 one-pager

Nominees are invited to join the UN Global Compact  and its Business for Peace platform and, make the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation’s corporate pledge to protect freedom of religion or belief (FoRB)

Interfaith Understanding and Peace as Prerequisites for Business Success
Interfaith understanding – and its contribution to peace – is in the interest of business. Recent research shows that economic growth and global competitiveness are stronger when social hostilities involving religion are low and Government respect for the universally recognized human right of freedom of religion or belief is high.

Interfaith understanding also strengthens business by reducing corruption and encouraging broader freedoms while also increasing trust and fostering respect. Research shows that laws and practices stifling religion are related to higher levels of corruption. Similarly, religious freedom highly correlates with a range of social and economic goods, such as better health care and higher incomes for women.

Positively engaging around the issue of interfaith understanding also helps business to advance trust and respect with consumers, employees and possible partner organizations, which can give companies a competitive advantage as sustainability and ethics come to the forefront of engagement with society.

* SDG-16: Promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.