Freedom Declared Foundation (FDF): championing the right of everyone to freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief. We provide research, information, educational and training resources and are the only UK charity on Freedom of Religion or Belief founded and governed by people of various faiths or those who hold no faith.
Dr James D. Holt
Chair of the Board of Trustees
James is Associate Professor of Religious Education at the University of Chester. He has been involved in the teaching of religion and worldviews for the past thirty years. James holds degrees from the University of Liverpool, Manchester Metropolitan University , and the University of Birmingham. His PhD developed a theology of religions and theological underpinning for interfaith relations and dialogue. James has lectured widely on issues of religion, inter-faith, and the representation of minosrity religions. He is the author of ‘Religious Education in the Secondary School’ (Routledge, 2022) and ‘Beyond the Big Six Religions. Expanding the boundaries of the RE classroom’ (2019) as well as an ongoing series from Bloomsbury entitled ‘Teaching Religion and Worldviews’ with the first volume being ‘Understanding Sikhism’ (2023). James is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and has served in many leadership roles over the last thirty years. James is married to Ruth and they have four children.
James has served as Chair of the Board of Trustees since 2021 and teaches widely about the issues of Freedom of Religion and Belief.
Baroness Elizabeth Berridge
Baroness (Elizabeth) Berridge of the Vale of Catmose has been in the House of Lords since January 2011. She sits on the joint Parliamentary Ecclesiastical Committee. She is also the Co-Chair of the All Party Group on International Freedom of Religion and Belief.
After reading Law at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Elizabeth undertook Barrister’s training at the Inns of Court Law School in London and practiced at Kings Chambers in Manchester, specialising in personal injury and licensing law. In 2005 she became Executive Director of the Conservative Christian Fellowship, a role she held until her elevation as a life peer in 2011. Since 2012, she has become a key voice in the deepening worldwide discussion on freedom of religion and belief. Elizabeth is a member of the Steering Group of the International Panel of Parliamentarians. Their pledge is to work together to end belief-based persecution worldwide.
Elizabeth was the first Chair of FDF, standing down to become a Trustee when she was appointed a Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in February 2020.
Stephen Kerr MSP
Stephen Kerr is the Conservative Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for Central Scotland, and the Chief Whip of the Scottish Conservative group in Holyrood.
Stephen Kerr has lived in Stirling, with his wife Yvonne since 1982. He has four children.
Stephen Kerr was born in Dundee in 1960. He was raised on a council estate in Forfar, Angus. His father was a butcher to trade and worked for the local branch of the Coop. His mother was a shop assistant. He attended a local primary school and later, Forfar Academy and left school at 16 to work as a bank junior. After returning from a two year period of church voluntary service in London, Stephen graduated from Stirling University with a honours degree in Business.
His career has largely been spent working in business, mainly in sales and marketing. His role immediately prior to his election involved heading the sales teams for an international company (Kimberly Clark) in the UK, Ireland and France.
He stood previously as a Conservative candidate in the 2005 and 2015 General Elections and was finally successful in 2017 where he was sent to Parliament in Westminster to represent the Stirling Constituency. As an MP he spoke up for Stirling and Scotland, helped people throughout the constituency and served on the Business Energy and Industrial Strategy Select Committee.
Stephen has been involved with Freedom Declared Foundation for a number of years and has championed Freedom of Religion and Belief in the UK and Scottish Parliaments.
Amin Mawji, OBE
Hon. Treasurer, and Chair of the Finance and Audit Committee
Mr Mawji is a Diplomatic Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network. He is a former senior Partner at Ernst & Young, where he held a number of leadership positions. Upon retirement from professional practice in 2013, he was appointed by the UK Government as Non-Executive Director on the Board of UK Export Finance and the UK Trade & Industry Board. Amin graduated in Economics from The LSE before qualifying as a Chartered Accountant. Over the past 35 years, he has served as Trustee on several charities including Sightsavers, the UK Social Enterprise Loan Fund, the Aga Khan Foundation (UK), Focus Humanitarian Assistance, Madad, and the Royal Commonwealth Society for the Blind Pension Funds. He is past President of the Ismaili Muslim Council.
Amin has been named as one of Britain’s Most Influential Asians in the Power101 List, and as one of Britain’s Muslim Power100. He was awarded the inaugural British Muslim Award for services to Finance and, in 2012, appointed an OBE for his public service.
Dr. Kishan Manocha is Senior Adviser on Freedom of Religion or Belief at the Organization for Security and Co-operation Europe Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in Warsaw. He has served as Director of the Office of Public Affairs of the Bahá’í community of the United Kingdom. He holds degrees in medicine and law from the Universities of London and Cambridge respectively. He has extensive experience in religious freedom and minority rights issues in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia as a consultant to international and non-governmental organizations.