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Africa religion expert to speak at UCR

Africa religion expert to speak at UCR

(January 23, 2001)

Noted Africa religion expert Rosalind Hackett will speak at the University of California, Riverside, Thursday, Jan. 25, about emerging religious movements' effects on African culture and human rights, the media's role in that shift, and how freedom of religion became a part of U.S. foreign policy.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, is titled "Religious Freedom as an Emerging Global Issue: The United States, Africa, and the Mass Media." The event is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the University Village movie theater No. 9.

The Holstein Family Community Chair in Religious Studies at UCR is funding Hackett's lecture. Hackett, a Religious Studies professor at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, has been researching religious trends in Africa since the mid 1970s, when she left her native England to study emerging religious movements in Nigeria, mostly evangelical and charismatic Christian sects.

Hackett's talk will touch on her findings about how these movements have affected the continent's art, gender relations, and human rights record. She will examine how the mass media portrayals of these groups locally, regionally, and globally, have affected levels of tolerance or intolerance among religious communities.

Hackett will speak about the growing view in the U.S. that freedom of religious and belief are an integral part of human rights. That thrust helped convince Congress to enact the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, which made freedom of religion a facet of U.S. foreign policy.

Finally, Hackett will discuss how these developments can help academic and legal efforts to redress the neglected status of religious freedom in the international human rights movement.

Maps and directions to the event are available at UCR information kiosks located at the University Avenue and the Canyon Crest Drive campus entrances, or on the campus web site Parking after 4 p.m. is free at University Village.

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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