Thomas F. Farr, RFI president, testified today before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. Co-Chair Christopher H. Smith presided over the hearing titled, "Violations of the International Right to Freedom of Religion: Christians."
President of the Religious Freedom Institute, Thomas Farr, testified before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on The Constitution at a hearing entitled: Threats to Religious Liberty Around the World
Dr. Farr’s testimony concluded with a reminder of what is at stake:
Just as we seek to advance religious freedom with our diplomacy in places where government coercion of religious communities is triggering a humanitarian disaster and a grave strategic danger to our national interests, so too must we recognize the danger of government coercion within our own society. We must not forget that America was founded on religious liberty. Our founders firmly believed that without it, our great experiment in democracy would fail.
That is because the first freedom was, and is, a protection for all of us. Not just for Christians, Jews, or Muslims, and not just for religious people. Religious freedom benefits America. If we are not free to believe and to live our lives in accord with our deepest convictions about ultimate truth, then the consequences go far beyond the fate of any one religious group or any one nation.
Without religious freedom in full for everyone, none of us can be truly free.
Read his full testimony here: The Global Crisis of Religious Freedom: the Stakes for America and the World
Joining Dr. Farr as witnesses at the hearing are Dr. Bob Fu, President, ChinaAid and Ms. Amanda Tyler, Executive Director, Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty
The video of the hearing and full text of witness testimony is available here: Threats to Religious Liberty Around the World
The current assault on religion in China under President Xi Jinping is the most comprehensive attempt to manipulate and control religious communities since the Cultural Revolution. Xi’s policy should be seen as a particularly troubling aspect of the global crisis in religious freedom, one in which over three-quarters of the world’s people live in nations where religion is highly, or very highly, restricted. China is one of those nations. - Thomas Farr, President, Religious Freedom Institute
As Dr. Farr makes clear in his testimony, the situation is dire for China’s Muslim Uighers, Tibetan Budhhists, and Christians both Catholic and Protestant. Xi’s policy presents a major challenge to U.S. international religious freedom policy, which has to date had little impact in China. It is time to try a different approach.