The seven official reports to the UN Human Rights Council of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religions and Belief, Heiner Bielefeldt, have been published by the International Institute of Religious Freedom of the World Evangelical Alliance. Each report has its own specific topic like religious minorities, apostasy and blasphemy, conversion, women’s rights, or school education.
Since assuming his position as United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, Heiner Bielefeldt has devoted each of his reports to a major topic, all of which are reprinted in this volume in full. He addresses important topics which are often bypassed due to their complexity or emotionality, addressing themes such as conversion or religious minorities.
He also discusses supposed conflicts between different human rights, such as FORB and non-discrimination. He is convinced that human rights should never be understood as opposed to each other since ultimately the many rights go hand in hand. The topics he addresses are relevant for the whole range of institutions of society in their relation to FORB, including the state, schools, employers, and organised religion.
Heiner Bielefeldt studied Catholic theology, philosophy and history and earned a doctorate in philosophy. After holding various positions at different universities, from 2003 to 2009 he served as Director of the German Institute for Human Rights, which monitors the human rights situation within Germany on behalf of the German government. Since 2009 he has been Professor of Human Rights and Human Rights Policy at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg in Bavaria. In 2010, he was additionally appointed United Nations Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief. He was reappointed in 2013 .