Papers of the International Association for Religious Freedom

Scope and Content

Administrative papers, 1900s-90s: files of correspondence, triennial congress papers, periodicals, photographs, films and financial records. Papers of the Dutch office, from the 1920s onwards, containing material relating to rise of Nazism and anti-Semitism in Europe.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Association was founded in Boston, Massachusetts, in May 1900, as the International Council of Unitarian and Other Liberal Religious Thinkers and Workers. In 1910 it became the International Congress of Free Christians and Other Religious Liberals and in 1930, at Arnhem, was reconstituted as the International Association for Liberal Christianity and Religious Freedom. Groups from other Christian traditions joined the Association from 1950 onwards; the reference to Christianity in the title was revised and the present name was adopted in 1969. The aims of the Association are: to promote the development of religious life in which freedom of conscience is an essential element; to promote mutual understanding and co-operation; to promote tolerance in culture and religion; to maintain links with and between individuals and organisations striving for international understanding, co-operation and tolerance; to promote development aid. The Association has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). It has links with United Nations non-governmental advisory groups.

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Compiled by Gwennyth Anderson

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