Center for Religious Freedom Announces Law Fellowship Program for Students

WASHINGTON - The Center for Religious Freedom opened a new program to encourage students to pursue the field of international religious freedom through offered internships for the upcoming summer.

The International Religious Freedom Law Fellowship Program will award three fellowships of $5,000 to qualifying law students who will engage in a deeper and broader knowledge of religious freedom and democracy on a global level.

"These fellowships will give young legal scholars the opportunity to develop a deeper knowledge of the right to religious freedom as it applies to nation-building in Iraq and Afghanistan, to conflicts in Sudan and Kosovo, to democratization efforts in China and the Middle East and to other headline issues in the international arena," said Center for Religious Freedom director Nina Shea, in a released statement.

Students will be awarded based on an essay-writing competition and their overall academic standing and achievement, according to a panel of judges, including John Norton Moore, Freedom House trustee and the Walter L. Brown Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law; Federal Circuit Judge Lawrence Silberman; and David Forte, the Charles R. Emrick Jr. – Calfee, Halter & Griswold Endowed Professor of Law at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law of Cleveland State University.

Selected students will spend the summer of 2006 in Washington, D.C. where they will be immersed in the foreign policy challenges pertaining to religious freedom and gain greater interest and understanding of how this right is central to supporting general freedom and democracy abroad, stated the announcement.

Applications, which require a resume with a cover letter, transcript and 3-5 page essay on the importance of religious freedom as an aspect of foreign policy, are now being accepted until Dec. 1 and can be submitted electronically at religion@freedomhouse.org. Awardees will be announced in early 2006.

The Center for Religious Freedom, directed for the past 19 years by lawyer Nina Shea, is a program of Freedom House. Founded in 1941 by Eleanor Roosevelt and Wendell Willkie, Freedom House is America’s oldest human rights group, and a vigorous proponent of democratic values and a steadfast opponent of dictatorship of the far left and the far right. Its Center for Religious Freedom defends against religious persecution of all groups throughout the world. It insists that U.S. foreign policy defend those persecuted for their religion or beliefs around the world, and advocates the right to religious freedom of every individual.