Barker: Will Religious Freedom Play on the World Stage?

Jeremy Barker, Director of RFI’s Middle East Action Team, recently authored an article in The Hill titled, “Will Religious Freedom Play a Role on the World Stage?” In it Barker was responding to the global call to protect religious freedom announced by President Trump before the 74th United Nations General Assembly.

Barker points to a few recent examples to illustrate the unfolding global crisis of religious freedom, including the operation of Uighur reeducation camps in China, aggressive ethno-religious nationalism in Burma, and persecution of Yazidis in Iraq. He then turns to an array of emerging responses to the crisis (referencing RFI’s landscape report that comprehensively documents them), noting:

While the problems are worsening, there is a growing movement of both civil society and government initiatives dedicated to illuminating and addressing the problem and that recognize the power of religious freedom to promote security and human flourishing.

These initiatives must, however, move beyond rhetorical condemnation alone to confront the threats that terrorism and authoritarian regimes pose to vulnerable religious communities within their reach.

Importantly, Barker concludes, the United States is leading the way in moving the “battle for religious freedom…from the periphery to the center of the world stage.”

Read the full article here: