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Breakfast Reception and Guided Tour of Religious Freedom Exhibits at the Museum of the Bible

  • Museum of the Bible 400 4th Street Southwest Washington, DC, 20024 United States (map)
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Join us for a breakfast reception and special gallery tour of key exhibits that spotlight the profound impact of the Bible on the development of religious freedom and human rights in the United States and around the world. Invited guests include high-level visiting dignitaries (foreign ministers, members of parliament) and religious and NGO leaders from around the world. 

Guided tour features: Dr. Seth Pollinger, Director of Education, Museum of the Bible and Dr. Timothy Shah, Vice President for Strategy and International Research, Religious Freedom Institute


9:00 AM | Reception in the Gathering Room

9:15 AM | Welcome and Opening Remarks, David Trimble, Director, Center for Religious Freedom Education, Religious Freedom Institute | Eric Patterson, Executive Vice President, Religious Freedom Institute | Ken McKenzie, Chief Executive Officer, Museum of the Bible

9:25 AM | Tour Guides Introduction - Timothy Shah, Vice President for Strategy and International Research, and Seth Pollinger, Director of Education, Museum of the Bible

9:40 AM | Tour of religious freedom exhibits on the Impact Floor 

Tour Guides


Seth Pollinger, Director of Museum Curatorial at the Museum of the Bible, has a Ph.D. in biblical interpretation from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. His studies specialized in functional grammar (linguistics), history of New Testament interpretation, and the Gospel of John. He has a Bachelor's degree in biblical languages and a Master's in Divinity from the Master's College. Pollinger joined Museum of the Bible as assistant director of collections in 2015. He has coordinated the integration between the collections and Washington museum designers and supports the collections in developing strategic relations with various U.S. institutions.


Timothy Samuel Shah serves as Vice President for Strategy and International Research and the Director of the South and Southeast Asia Action Team of the Religious Freedom Institute. He is based in Bangalore, India, and serves as non-resident Research Professor of Government at Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion. Until mid-2018, he served as Director for International Research at the Religious Freedom Research Project at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs. He is a political scientist specializing in religious freedom as well as in the broad relationship between religious and political dynamics in theory, history, and contemporary practice. He has directed or co-directed numerous grant-funded collaborative research initiatives, including a Pew-funded study of evangelical Protestantism and politics that generated three volumes with Oxford University Press; a Harvard University-based study of religion and global politics; a study supported by the Templeton-funded Religion and Innovation in Human Affairs research initiative on Christianity and freedom; a multi-year standing seminar on religion and religious freedom and their relationship to human nature and human experience, which led to a volume published by Cambridge; and a study he co-directed with Daniel Philpott on contemporary Christian responses to persecution, which also led to a volume published by Cambridge. Shah is author of Even if There is No God: Hugo Grotius and the Secular Foundations of Modern Political Liberalism (Oxford University Press, forthcoming in 2019); Religious Freedom: Why Now? Defending an Embattled Human Right (Witherspoon Institute, 2012); and, with Monica Duffy Toft and Daniel Philpott, God’s Century: Resurgent Religion and Global Politics (W.W. Norton and Company, 2011). He is also editor of numerous volumes, including, with Daniel Philpott, Under Caesar’s Sword: Christian Responses to Persecution (Cambridge University Press, 2018); with Jack Friedman and Homo Religiosus?: Exploring the Roots of Religion and Religious Freedom in Human Experience (Cambridge University Press, 2018). His articles on religion, religious freedom, and global politics, in history and in the contemporary world, have appeared in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the Journal of Law and Religion, the Journal of Democracy, the Review of Politics, Fides et Historia, and elsewhere.