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The Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief (OC)

Through projects involving cooperation between academics and religious/community leaders or key actors, the Coalition works to advance freedom of religion or belief as a common benefit that is accepted and embraced by all persuasions. Please visit our new website for updated information about our activities. 


In many countries of the world a major trend is the increasing importance of religion in politics. The situation for Freedom of Religion or Belief (FORB) is more precarious than ever. This situation has consequences both for the majority and minorities and sets the tone for communication on social, cultural and political discourse, to which questions pertaining to FORB are profoundly linked.  Many burning questions are at stake, questions that are fundamental to FORB and hotly debated all over the world. 

Recognition and realisation of the right to FORB according to international HR standards depends upon a number of factors. Two remedial factors are the acquisition of knowledge and understanding of International Human Rights, and the relief of possible perceived tensions between religious identity and interpretation on the one hand and international HR standards on the other. OC gives special attention to these factors.

The Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief (OC) is responsible for the Freedom of Religion or Belief section of the international programme at the NCHR. OC relies on an international network of representatives from religious and other life-stance communities, NGOs, international organisations and research institutes, and also on its Advisory Council.

1: The Politicisation of Freedom of Religion or Belief

This project seeks to promote FORB in a climate of increased politicisation

2: New Directions in Islamic Thought

This project researches the development in Islamic reform thinking and gives academic activists in the field a platform. Focus for 2014: Freedom of religion and expression.

3: New Directions in Orthodox Christian Thought and Practice

This project facilitates and documents an Orthodox Christian debate on the freedom of religion or belief as a modern challenge.

4: Competence Building for Freedom of Religion or Belief

This project organises, facilitates and supports courses, seminars and workshops on FORB for academic institutions and NGOs.

5: The Working Group on Indonesia

This project focuses, among other things, on FORB-competence-building for future religious leaders in Indonesia.

6: The Working Group on China

This project works to increase academic understanding and competence on international standards for FORB in China.

7: Missionary Activities and Human Rights

This project focuses on both governments and missionary societies and their roles in ensuring that international standards for human rights are met.