Prof. Dr. theol. Dr. phil. Thomas Schirrmacher, PhD, DD, (born 1960) is President of the International Council of the International Society for Human Rights and Director of the International Institute for Religious Freedom (Bonn, Cape Town, Colombo, Brasilia). He teaches as as extraordinary professor of the sociology of religion at the state University of the West in Timisoara (Romania) and human rights and religious freedom at Oxford University (Regent’s Park College). In his religious role he is Bishop and Associate Secretary General for Theological Concerns (Theology, Intrafaith and Interfaith Relations, Religious Freedom, Research) of the World Evangelical Alliance, which represents churches with 600 million Protestant Christians.
Schirrmacher earned three doctorates in ecumenical theology (Kampen, Netherlands), in cultural anthropology (Los Angeles), and in the political science and sociology of religions (Bonn, Germany) and received several honorary doctorates and honours from the USA and India. He has given guest lectures in more than 100 countries. He has authored and edited 102 books, which have been translated into 18 languages. His newest books include ‘Coffee Break with the Pope’ (2016), ‘Corruption’ (2016), ‘Human Rights’ (2014), ‘Human trafficking’ (2013), ‘Fundamentalism: When Religion turns violent’ (2013), and ‘Racism’ (2008).
Schirrmacher regularly testifies in Parliament, in High Courts and at the United Nations and OSCE, e.g. in the German parlament (Deutscher Bundestag), the House of Lords, the EU Parliament, the US Houses of Representatives or the Supreme Court of Brazil. He is known for his role in the first ever joint statement by the Vatican, the World Council of Churches and World Evangelical Alliance on mission and human rights, published mid 2011. The German major newspaper ‘Die Welt’ calls him one of the three leading experts on religious freedom globally and “Pope Francis’ most loved Protestant”.