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Cole Durham is a professor of law at Brigham Young University's J. Reuben Clark Law School who specializes in international religious freedom law. He is also the co-author of Law and Religious-freedom in Post-Communist Europe with Silvio Ferrari. Durham was also one of the editors of the book Religious Organizations in the United States: A Study of Identity, Liberty and Law (Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 2006). Durham also edited Religious Liberty in Western THought with Noel B. Reynolds.[1]

In December 2008 it was announced that Durham would receive the 2009 International First Freedom Award for extraordinary advocacy of religious freedom.

As a young man Durham served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Germany.

Durham received his bachelors degree from Harvard University and his JD from Harvard Law School. He has been a member of the BYU law school faculty since 1976. In 2000 he was appointed the director of the BYU Center for Law and Religion Studies.

Durham has been a visiting professor at Gutenberg University, the University of Vienna and Central European University.

Durham was on an advisory committee that made recommendations on religious freedom law in Peru. He has also done extensive studies on religious freedom law in Eastern Europe. However, his interest in religious freedom law has involved studies of the situation in countries from Nigeria to West Germany.

Durham has not only studied religious law in many parts of eastern Europe but also in countries such as Bulgaria made public statements in ways that were intended to halt the enactment of laws that would have negative effects on religious liberty.[2]

In the wake of the United States Supreme Court ruling in Employment Division v. Smith Durham was among those who testified to the House Judiciary Committee on the negative effects of this ruling.[3]


  1. ^ google book website with info on book Religious Liberty in Western Thought
  2. ^ article from a Sofia paper including such statements from Durham
  3. ^ LDS Church News, June 27, 1998


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