International Association for Religious Freedom
US Chapter

We are the US chapter of this organization of religious bodies from around the world, striving for understanding and mutual respect, and thus toward world peace.

US Chapter Deplores Harassment of Asian-Americans

The US Chapter of the IARF is greatly distressed by the harassment of and, worse, attacks on Asian-Americans and other Asians in the US that have arisen in reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic. New diseases arise from time to time, and “blame” is not appropriate. The fact that COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan, China, has led to Asian-Americans being stereotyped as infected with the virus, and this racist assumption hurts Asian-American communities all over the country. To blame or try to avoid Asian-Americans in the US makes no sense at all. To harm them is appalling. We especially condemn those campaigning for high office by blaming the Chinese for the pandemic.

The US chapter of the IARF is compelled to denounce anti-Asian bias and racial intolerance. We must stop it from becoming normalized. Current attacks against Asian Americans simply stoke inter-community animus and recall the past racially-motivated prejudice that has left a stain in our country's past history and present story. Clearly, the values of the IARF lead us not to speak ill of others, nor act in ways to harm, but rather to offer help to those who are at risk, while maintaining our own safety, and to speak up for respect for all.

Subscribe to our newsletter and alerts 

About 6 a year. Also your state, to learn of programs near you.

Message Sent!

Your message has been sent successfully, I hope to respond within 24 hours. You can also contact us through social media, links can be found below!

August 7, 2021

 IARF US Chapter Open Discussion

 Are you curious about the history of international interfaith efforts and the IARF in particular, Our program is of special interest to anyone who remembers the role that Diether Gehrmann played in it: Our US Chapter will hold an Open Discussion on August 7, a remembrance of Rev. Gehrmann, with introductory remarks on his life and work by his widow Dorothee and their son Axel.
Dieter was the first general secretary of the IARF. Lucie Meijer and Axel’s wife Elaine will talk about the work he led there. He died in 2006 after serving Unitarian congregations in Germany and the US, as well as the IARF. This gathering by Zoom is being publicized to our American list and to IARF members in Europe and elsewhere.
We will encourage people who remember Diether to share their memories. If you have ever wondered about the donors behind our Gehrmann Fund, which supports young adult participation in the IARF, this is your chance to learn. Date and time:
Saturday, August 7 at 10:30 am PDT/ 1:30 pm Eastern time. 

Our US Board

Board members live across the US and meet by video conference.

Betsy Darr


Retired religious educator with long interest in multi-faith encounters.

Dr. Janice Marie Johnson

New York

Committed to making multiculturalism real, her maxim is "Let us build together."

Stephen Schwichow

San Francisco

For Stephen, it is all about accepting each other because of, not in spite of, our differences.

John L. Young

San Francisco

Retired minister with deep interest in non-violence, and former chair of this chapter.

Julia Zubiago

Somerville, MA

Recently received an MPH from Tufts, interested in the junction of religion and health. 


Doris Hunter

Celine Ibrahim
Ahbi Janamanchi
Roy Kaplan
Bruce Knotts
Kathy Matsui
Nyla McCulloch
Peter Richardson

Join the US Chapter

Dues are $30 each year
or, $50 for a household
or, $10 for a student.
Donations beyond our modest dues are very welcome.
Use the Donate button, or send a check to IARF-US at the address at the bottom of this webpage.