In an article in the most recent issue of First Things, Thomas Farr, president of the Religious Freedom Institute, writes that “We are witnessing a global crisis in religious freedom” and that “China presents a particularly troubling case.”
Based on empirical research linking religious freedom to a variety of social goods, Farr calls on the United States to develop an evidence-based strategy for engaging China more effectively on these issues:
A new strategy of pragmatic argument would stand a chance of actually reducing religious persecution in China. Economic growth is a major priority for Chinese policymaking, both domestic and international. If Chinese authorities come to view the country’s religious communities as an economic asset and a driver of modernization, rather than as a source of social and political instability, they will become more receptive to arguments against persecution.
Read the full article: Diplomacy and Persecution in China.