Prison Credentials: A Reflection for Easter 2017

By Christian Van Gorder

As we approach the Easter holiday it is not only time to celebrate our faith but also to honor our sisters and brothers who risk so much to stand for their faith in many nations around the world. This past week when I read about Christian churches being attacked in Egypt I had to ask myself the same question that you might have asked yourself: Would I attend a church service if attending might cost me my life or the life of one of my children? This question is not a theoretical one in many places around the world and this should give all of us a deeper sense of perspective about how precious our faith really is for all of us.

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Religious Freedom Abroad: A Road Map of Deterioration

By: Robert P. George

By any measure, religious freedom abroad has been under serious and sustained assault since the release of our commission’s last annual report in 2015. From the plight of new and longstanding prisoners of conscience, to the dramatic rise in the numbers of refugees and internally displaced persons, to the continued acts of bigotry against Jews and Muslims in Europe, and to the other abuses detailed in the 2016 annual report, there was no shortage of attendant suffering worldwide. 

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A Pope and a President Visit America, While Religious Persecution Grows in China

By: William Inboden

Two towering world leaders will visit the United States just days apart next week: Pope Frances and Chinese president Xi Jinping. The two share some notable similarities. Each presides over constituencies of about one billion people—whether one billion Chinese citizens or one billion of the world’s Catholics (and they even have some overlapping subjects in the estimated 10-15 million Chinese Catholics). They made almost simultaneous debuts on the world stage. Each ascended to his current position just one day apart in 2013: Pope Francis on March 13, and Xi Jinping the next day (though Xi had become General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party five months earlier).

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Religious Freedom: A Human Right that Needs Human Agency in Asia Today

By: Stephen Bailey

Many nations have the freedom of religious belief inscribed in their constitutions and statutes, yet this right often exists more on paper than it does in actual practice. As has been meticulously documented, the last few years have seen an increase in restrictions on religion around the world. In many cases, the wording of law and policy is explicit, but has little to no effect on the actual actions of governments and citizens with regard to respecting the faith and practice of minority religious groups. 

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Religious Freedom and Restriction in China

By: Karrie Koesel

October 1, 2014 marked sixty-five years of communist rule in China. As the party-state rolled out the red carpet for National Day celebrations across the country, there was little indication that political liberalization might be on the horizon. In Hong Kong, the most democratic enclave of the country, the Chinese leadership recently announced that it would provide a list of Beijing-approved candidates for the 2017 election of Hong Kong’s chief executive. This surreptitious change ensures that all Hong Kong candidates will be supportive of the central government.

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