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Online Discussion: “Religious Freedom in Corporate America” with Dr. Brian J. Grim

Dr. Brian J. Grim, a leading expert on the socioeconomic impact of restrictions on religious freedom and international religious demography, looking at the issue of religious freedom in Corporate America.

Watch the video HERE.

More US Firms Are Boosting Faith-Based Support For Employees

 It has become standard practice for U.S. corporations to assure employees of support regardless of their race, gender or sexual orientation. There’s now an intensifying push to ensure that companies are similarly supportive and inclusive when it comes to employees’ religious beliefs. One barometer: More than 20% of the Fortune 100 have established faith-based employee resource groups. Corporate America is at a tipping point toward giving religion similar attention to that given the other major diversity categories. A few companies have long-established faith-in-the-workplace programs, such as Arkansas-based Tyson Foods, which deploys a team of more than 90 chaplains to comfort and counsel employees at its plants and offices. That program began in 2000. The top 10 in the rankings on the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation’s Corporate Religious Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (REDI) Index feature some of America’s best-known companies – Google’s parent company Alphabet, Intel, Tyson Foods, Target, Facebook, American Airlines, Apple, Dell, American Express and Goldman Sachs. Tyson won points for its chaplaincy program; most of the others have formed either a single interfaith employee resource group or separate groups for major religions such as Christianity, Islam and Judaism. Google’s interfaith group, the Inter Belief Network, has chapters for those faiths and for Buddhists, while Intel has a group for agnostics and atheists, as well as groups for major religious faiths.

Brian Grim, Ph. D., is founding president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, a corporate trainer, and a leading scholar on international religious demography, and the pioneer of the study of the socio-economic impact of religious freedom. He is the creator of the first fully global measures of religious freedom for countries of the world. Brian’s widely reported research finds that religion contributes $1.2 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, more than the combined revenues of the top 10 technology U.S.  companies including Apple, Amazon and Google. Brian recently served as chair of the World Economic Forum’s global agenda council on the role of faith (2015-16) and was a speaker at the Forum’s 2018 annual meeting in Davos as well as a TEDx speaker at the Vatican. Brian also supports and works closely with the “Business for Peace” platform of the United Nations Global Compact. From 2006-2014, Brian directed the largest social science effort to collect and analyze global data on religion at the Pew Research Center. He also worked as an educator in the former Soviet Union, China, Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe from 1982-2002. Brian holds a doctorate in sociology from the Pennsylvania State University and is author of numerous articles and books including The Price of Freedom Denied (Cambridge Univ. Press), The World Religion Database (Brill), The World’s Religions in Figures (Wiley) and The Yearbook of International Religious Demography (Brill). Brian has appeared as an expert on global religion on numerous media outlets, including CNN, BBC, Fox, CBS, C-SPAN, and regularly presents to high level audiences throughout the world including the White House, State Department, European Parliament, the Vatican, and various the United Nations bodies including the Human Rights Council, and the UN Alliance of Civilizations, and the UN Global Compact.