The U.S. Chapter of the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF) brings more than a century of experience working for inter-religious amity and justice towards a sustainable and peaceful world. By working collaboratively with diverse faith groups and individuals of conscience in the United States, we promote and nurture inter-religious communication and understanding. We build relationships across the globe by working in collaboration with our parent organization, IARF International. 

A Statement on the War in Ukraine
from the International Council

      We are deeply saddened and appalled by the hostile acts that led to this war and the increased threat this now presents to peaceful coexistence in the region and the world beyond.
      We believe that armed conflict should never be a way to resolve security concerns between states.
      We express our heartfelt compassion for all victims of the war, including those fleeing from the atrocities of armed conflict and the many families who are now being split up. We applaud Poland, Hungary and Romania, amongst others, for opening their borders for all refugees, and call on the other nations of Europe to support those countries in dealing with the refugee crisis.
      We are deeply concerned for the spiritual freedom and wellbeing of the Ukrainian people and those of neighbouring states whose peaceful existence is threatened by the presence of the military forces now assembled in Eastern Europe.
      We call upon faith communities everywhere to respond to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Ukraine in any way they can, and upon the churches in Ukraine to work together to be an example of mutual respect and humanity for the Ukrainian people. May the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, the Moscow Patriarchate and other churches and faith communities in the region have the courage and strength to inspire reconciliation and healing. We sincerely hope that peace and justice will prevail in Ukraine and its neighbours. 

Robert Ince
, President
27 February 2022

Our US Board

Board members live across the US and meet monthly by Zoom. 

John  Young

Current chair of the IARF US Chapter, and retired minister. 
I have a deep interest in non-violence and how it can be realized through greater understanding of and interaction with other world religions. 

Dr. Janice Marie Johnson

Committed to making multiculturalism real, her maxim is "Let us build together."

John Gubbings

Committed to Unitarian Universalism as a support for a religiously diverse democracy. I perceive the IARF purpose of religious freedom as an aspect of social justice at the international level.

Stephen Schwichow

As one who practices a minority religion in America and has experienced discrimination because of it, I am acutely aware of the issues surrounding the need for inter-religious amity and cooperation.

Bruce Knotts

Bruce is the last UU-UN Office director and a former State Department diplomat. He continues his activism in numerous interfaith groups.

Kunihiko Terasawa

A professor at Wartburg College in Iowa, Kunihiko has interacted with Japanese IARF members and is an Evangelical Lutheran as well as a member of Rissho Kosei-kai. 

Advisory Board

Betsy Darr
Celine Ibrahim
Roy Kaplan
Kathy Matsui
Nyla McCulloch

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