International Religious Freedom Project

This page includes research and source materials into an evolving exploration into issues including: (1) is freedom of conscience an international human right; (2) if so, what has the United States done with respect to promoting this right through its laws and the application of foreign policy, and; (3) what are the national interests of the US with respect to foreign nation states respecting the international right of freedom of conscience.

A related set of issues involves the early history of the United States with respect to freedom of conscience and the relationship of the United States to foreign nations during the Colonial period.

This page will serve to catalog certain resources and facilitate academic exploration of these concepts and issues.

1.   University of Minnesota:  Source Materials of Freedom of Religion

2.   Universal Declaration of Human Rights

3.   International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

4.   United Nations (A/RES/55/97)

5.   International Religious Freedom Act (US)

6.   US State Dept Reports (2014 IRFA Report)

7.   “God Needs No Defense”by Kyai Haji Abdurrahman Wahid 

8.   A Defense of Secular Governance by a Religious Citizen (Khizr Khan)

9.   IRFA – Dept of State Exec Summary 2015

10.  From George Washington to Tench Tilghman, 24 March 1784 To Tench Tilghman

Mount Vernon Mar. 24th 1784

Dear Sir,

I am informed that a Ship with Palatines is gone up to Baltimore, among whom are a number of Tradesmen. I am a good deal in want of a House Joiner & Bricklayer, (who really understand their profession) & you would do me a favor by purchasing one of each, for me. I would not confine you to Palatines. If they are good workmen, they may be of Assia, Africa, or Europe. They may be Mahometans, Jews, or Christian of any Sect—or they may be Athiests—I woud however prefer middle aged, to young men. and those who have good countenances & good characters on ship board, to others who have neither of these to recommend them—altho, after all, the proof of the pudding must be in the eating. I do not limit you to a price, but will pay the purchase money on demand—This request will be in force ’till complied with, or countermanded, because you may not succeed at this moment, and have favourable ones here after to do it in[.]1 My best respects, in which Mrs Washington joins, are presented to Mrs Tilghman & Mrs Carroll 2—and I am Dr Sir Yr Affecte Hble Servt

Go: Washington

11.   River Farm became the northernmost of Washington’s five farms, and today’s River Farm is located on the northernmost division of that property. Although Washington had patiently pursued the acquisition of the property, he never actually lived on or worked this land. Instead, he preferred to rent it, first in 1761 to tenant farmer Samuel Johnson who paid ever increasing amounts of his tobacco crop to Washington for the privilege. The farm was even once offered for sale in 1773, but instead Washington held on to it and later gave its lease as a wedding present to one Tobias Lear whose bride, Fanny Bassett, was Martha Washington’s niece and widow of George Washington’s nephew, George Augustine Washington.