Institute on Religion and Democracy

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The Institute on Religion and Democracy (IRD) is a conservative Christian organisation based in Washington, DC. There is significant overlap between the staff and board members of the Institute and the Philos Project, a Christian Zionist organisation based in New York.

History and views

In a 'Letter from the President' on the IRD website president Mark Tooley details the history and outlook of the institute:

IRD is especially committed to reforming the social witness of the churches. In 1981, IRD was founded by concerned United Methodists and other Christians distressed that denominational and ecumenical officials were openly supporting Marxist causes and opposing democracy and human rights.
We continue to monitor and report on similar egregious political shenanigans. Many church elites, often claiming to speak on our behalf, lobby for abortion rights, homosexual rights, big government, extreme environmentalism, pacifism, and anti-Americanism. IRD strives to be a voice for church members whom church bureaucrats would prefer to ignore. We connect church members with renewal groups who believe in biblical and historic Christianity. And we teach them how to work for change in their denominations—with a focus on the United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the Anglican Communion.
The IRD also has a strong commitment to international religious liberty. If the churches will not defend international religious freedom and will not speak on behalf of persecuted Christians and others around the world, then who will? Too often, church elites in the U.S. are silent about Marxist, Islamist, or other repression of religion and human rights, in favor of dialogue and accommodation. IRD believes Christians and their church leaders should be bold on behalf of those persecuted believers who cannot speak from behind their prison walls.[1]

On April 17, 2015 the IRD hosted an event in Washington, DC entitled 'People of the Land: A Twenty-First Century Case for Christian Zionism'.[2]


Officers and executive committee circa June 2015

Dr. Janice Shaw Crouse (Chairwoman) | Dr. Paul Marshall (Vice-Chairman) | David Stanley (Treasurer) | Fred Barnes (At Large) | Mark Tooley (President)

Board members circa June 2015

Rev. David Anderson | Sara Anderson | Fred Barnes | Kenneth J. Collins | Sue Cyre | Mateen Elass | Thomas Farr | Hans Jacobse | J. Robert Ladd | Paul Marshall | Martin Nicholas | James Robb | Sara Anderson | William Saunders | David Stanley | Helen Rhea Stumbo | Graham Walker | Eric Patterson

Members emeritus circa June 2015

Ira Gallaway | Robert P. George | Carl F.H. Henry | Richard J. Neuhaus | Michael Novak | George Frederick Jewett | Thomas C. Oden | Edmund W. Robb | George Weigel



1023 15th Street NW,
Suite 601
Washington, DC
Phone: (202) 682-4131
Fax: (202) 682-4136


  1. Institute on Religion and Democracy Website Letter from the President. Accessed 22 May 2015.
  2. People of the Land: A Twenty-First Century Case for Christian Zionism Website People of the Land: A Twenty-First Century Case for Christian Zionism. Accessed 22 June 2015.