Taoyuan, Taiwan
February 18-21, 2016

For Media Inquiries, Please Email media@aprff.org

APRFF: Advancing Religious Freedom in the Asia Pacific

The Asia Pacific Religious Freedom Forum (APRFF) will be an invitation only gathering of influential religious freedom advocates, including parliamentarians and other government representatives, leaders of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and religious leaders who are committed to advancing religious freedom in the Asia Pacific.
You can click here to view the Taiwan Declaration

APRFF Speakers

Brian J Grim
Brian Grim
Brian J Grim



Brian J. Grim, Ph. D., is president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation (RFBF) and a leading expert on international religious demography and the socio-economic impact of restrictions on religious freedom. He also holds a visiting professorship at St. Mary’s University in London, where he is developing the RFBF’s Empowerment+ initiative to increase religious freedom by helping those experiencing a wide range of socio-economic risks including displacement, unemployment, isolation, crime, addiction and extremism become self-reliant. Brian also supports and works closely with the “Business for Peace” platform of the United Nations Global Compact.

Brian is a member of the World Economic Forum’s council on the role of faith and an advisor for the religion & geopolitics project of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. He is an associate scholar at the Religious Liberty Project at Georgetown University and an affiliated scholar at Boston University’s Institute on Culture, Religion & World Affairs (see full CV).

Prior to becoming the Foundation’s president in 2014, Brian directed the largest social science effort to collect and analyze global data on religion at the Pew Research Center. He also worked for two decades as an educator in the former Soviet Union, China, Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe. 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). Dr. Grim writes the Weekly Number Blog and also is a TEDx speaker.

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 and the UN Human Rights Council.

Eva Sundari
Eva Sundari, MP
Eva Sundari


Indonesian Member of Parliament

Sundari received her MSc in Economics and Development Economics from the University of Nottingham, UK, and a MA in Politics of Alternative Development Strategy at the Institute of Social Studies at The Hague, Netherlands.

Ms. Sundari is a current Member of Indonesia’s Parliament, and previously served as a Member of Parliament from 2004-2014, and from 2014-2016 served as Senior Advisor for the Planning Ministry of the Republic of Indonesia. Sundari also served as Consultant and Program Officer for the Gender and Women Program at the Asia Foundation; and as teaching staff and researcher of the Faculty of Economics Airlangga University.

Sundari founded and served as Chairperson of Pancasila Caucus (for Pluralism), and is a member of the LGBT Organization Center of Human Rights. Sundari also founded the Asian Caucus for Migrant Workers, and served as the Chairman of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Myanmar Caucus, which later became the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary for Human Rights. Sundari also serves a member of the Special Committee to combat pornography and trafficking in persons, and to assist in the protection for victims and witnesses, and address terrorism financing.

In 2010, Sundari received an award from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for Anti-Corruption Initiatives, and is a member of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) Task Force for Parliamentary Oversight.

Sundari specializes are Democratization, Human Rights, and Economic and Law Reform.

Katrina Lantos Swett
Katrina Lantos Swett
Katrina Lantos Swett


Katrina Lantos Swett, Ph.D, currently serves as Chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). In March of 2012, she was appointed to USCIRF by Senator Harry Reid and Six months later was elected to serve as Chair. She served as Vice Chair for one year and in 2014 she was once again elected as Chair. Dr. Lantos Swett established the Lantos Foundation in 2008 to carry on the work of her father, the late Congressman Tom Lantos. In addition, she has taught Human Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy at Tufts University, a subject she also taught at the University of Southern Denmark during her husband’s tenure as US Ambassador to Denmark. While living in Copenhagen, Katrina led a successful advocacy effort to convince the Danish government to take action against illicit trafficking of women and children through Denmark.

Katrina currently serves on the Board of the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, the International Advisory Board of UN Watch, the Budapest based Tom Lantos Institute, the Advisory Board of the annual Anne Frank award & lecture, the US Global Leadership Coalition’s New Hampshire Advisory Board, the Executive Advisory Board of the Iranian American Majority, and the Advisory Board of the Warren B. Rudman Center for Justice, Leadership, and Public Policy.

Lantos-Swett graduated from Yale University with a degree in Political Science. She received a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and later earned a PhD in history at The University of Southern Denmark.

Abid Raja
Abid Raja, MP
Abid Raja


Abid Q. Raja represents the Liberal party as a Member of Parliament in the Norwegian Parliament. Mr. Raja is also a member of the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief (IPPFORB) Steering Committee.

During his career Mr. Raja has taken on a variety of social causes, with a special focus on the well-being of children, minority integration issues in Europe as well as radicalization and security issues. In his first published book in 2008, “Advocate”, he detailed his reflections on growing up as a Muslim Pakistani in Norwegian society, and the struggles that this entailed.

Raja completed his Cand. Jur. Law degree in 2002, and obtained a Master’s in Psychology from Oxford University in 2004. He has, prior to becoming a parliamentarian, worked professionally both as a civil and criminal case litigator, as Police Prosecutor, served as Board Leader of Norway’s National Immigration Appeals Board and been posted as diplomat at the Norway Mission in New Delhi. In 2010, Raja received for his tireless cross-cultural bridge-building work, Norway’s highly acknowledged Freedom of Speech award.

Mark Lagon
Mark P. Lagon
Mark Lagon


Mark P. Lagon is President of Freedom House. From 2010 through 2014, Lagon was the Chair for Global Politics and Security at Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service Program, and Adjunct Senior Fellow for Human Rights at the Council on Foreign Relations. He was previously Executive Director and CEO of the leading anti-human trafficking nonprofit, Polaris. He earlier served at the State Department as U.S. Ambassador at Large, directing the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, from 2007 to 2009. He was previously Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of International Organization Affairs, with responsibility for human rights, humanitarian issues and United Nations reform.

Lagon received both his M.A. and Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University, and an A.B. from Harvard University. He is the author of numerous articles on international affairs and co-editor of the recently released book Human Dignity and the Future of Global Institutions.

Aasiya Nasir
Aasiya Nasir, MP
Aasiya Nasir


Aasiya Nasir is a Member of the Parliament of Pakistan, affiliated with the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) political party.

Nasir serves as Chairperson of the United Christian Women Organization, Joint Secretary for the Young Parliamentarians Forum, Chairperson of the Pakistan Christian Forum, and is a member of the Aurat Foundation, and the working council of the Parliamentarians Women Caucus.

Aasiya Nasir has extensive experience working with national and international organizations in the sector of social welfare, education, health, development, and interfaith harmony.

Nasir also works with the committees of Ports and Shipping and Textile Industries, and spent 10 years teaching at the St. Francis Grammar School Quetta.

Nasir’s father Mr. Rafique Gill, a politician with rich experience, participated in provincial assembly elections, and contributed to the struggle for the rights of Christian minorities. Nasir’s husband is also an active political leader and member of the JUI-F, who aims to bring political awareness in the community and to establish a healthy democratic political culture in Pakistan.

Walter Lohman
Walter Lohman
Walter Lohman


Walter Lohman is Director of The Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center.

The Asia Studies Center is Heritage’s oldest research center. Established in 1983, its research fellows and scholars analyze the full range of policy in East and South Asia and develop recommendations to further American interests in freedom and security. Lohman joined Heritage in 2006 as Senior Research Fellow for Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. He is also currently an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University leading a graduate seminar on American foreign policy interests in Southeast Asia.

Before joining Heritage, Lohman served as Senior Vice President and Executive Director of the U.S.-ASEAN Business Council for four years. There, he oversaw the council’s mission of building U.S. market share in Southeast Asia, led multiple delegations of Fortune 500 companies to the region, participated in prominent business and policy forums and regularly represented the council in its interaction with high-level ASEAN officials. In the late 1990s, Lohman was the council’s Senior Country Director representing American interests in Indonesia and Singapore.

The other part of Lohman’s career has been spent as a Senate staff member. In 2002, he served as senior professional Republican staff advising Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC), the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on issues affecting East Asia. From 1991 to 1996, he served as a policy aide to Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), during which time he advised McCain on foreign policy, trade and defense issues.

Lohman has a bachelor’s degree in humanities from Virginia Wesleyan College and a master’s degree in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia. Originally from Norfolk, he now resides in Falls Church, Va., with his wife and three sons.

Bishop Efraim Tendero
Bishop Efraim Tendero
Bishop Efraim Tendero


Bishop Efraim Tendero, widely known as Bishop Ef, has served as National Director of the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) for more than 20 years. PCEC is WEA’s national Alliance member that represents some 30,000 evangelical churches in the Philippines. He is also President of the Philippine Relief and Development Services (PHILRADS), the relief and development arm of PCEC that works hand in hand with local churches in holistic ministries to serve the poor and needy.

Bishop Tendero also serves as International Facilitator for South East Asia of the Asia Evangelical Alliance, was appointed Lausanne Senior Associate for Integrity and Anti-Corruption and is the chair of the board Back to the Bible Broadcast, Evangelism Explosion (EE) 3 Philippines, Global Filipino Movement, and the Philippine Missions Association. He is also the Executive Editor of Evangelicals Today, the longest running Christian magazine in the Philippines.

Bishop Tendero has a BA in Theology from Febias College of Bible and a Master of Divinity with focus on pastoral counselling from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He received two honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees from Asian Theological Seminary and Febias College of Bible, and a Doctor of Leadership degree from International Graduate School of Leadership. Bishop Tendero and his wife Sierry have four children and two grandchildren.

View all APRFF Speakers >

The APRFF will provide an opportunity for collaboration on promoting religious freedom and related human rights between regional leaders from the Asia Pacific, United States, Europe, and throughout the world.

The APRFF aims to establish and reinforce existing networks of religious freedom advocates committed to promoting religious freedom in their respective countries and abroad, including the creation of both governmental and non-governmental mechanisms to promote religious freedom and related human rights in the Asia Pacific region.

The APRFF will address specific themes related to promoting religious freedom in the Asia Pacific region, including coordinating advocacy efforts and diplomatic engagement, addressing related immigration and refugees issues, and the socio-economic impact of religious freedom.

For more information on the APRFF, please email info@aprff.org