David Saperstein

Three Ways the 45th President Can Advance International Religious Freedom

By Travis Wussow and Matthew Hawkins

While both candidates have talked in vague terms about combatting the Islamic State, neither has enunciated a vision for promoting religious freedom as a common good that is severely deficient across the world. This need not be the case. Here are three ways the 45th president can leverage existing resources to advance this strategic value as an essential part of American foreign policy

Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/11/3/three-ways-the-45th-president-can-advance-international-religious-freedom

An Opportunity for Change: A Hillary Clinton Presidency and International Religious Freedom

By Isaac Six

While Clinton’s comments may have only publicly confirmed a phenomenon that is accepted as a given by many practitioners of foreign policy, namely that human rights issues always play second or third fiddle to economic and security concerns, her statement was a rare public affirmation of the realpolitik approach which has defined much of Clinton’s career. It also helps us understand to a great degree Clinton’s likely approach to human rights generally, and issues of international religious freedom (IRF) more specifically, as president.

Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/11/3/an-opportunity-for-change-a-hillary-clinton-presidency-and-international-religious-freedom

Congress, a Rabbi, and Vladimir Putin Walk into a Bar: Religious Freedom and the Clinton Presidency

By Steve Oshana

Not all religious persecution is created equal and, more often than not, the response of an administration comes down to a matter of reconciling American foreign policy interests with the humanitarian interests of a just and decent country. Sadly, there’s a calculus, one that dictates we look the other way at religious persecution when the perpetrator is an American ally, and unfortunately for religious freedom activists, some of the worst global actors happen to be allies of the United States. If there’s one word to describe Hillary Clinton that would be met with near unanimous agreement it’s that she is calculating, some would say to a fault.

Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/11/1/congress-a-rabbi-and-vladimir-putin-walk-into-a-bar-religious-freedom-and-the-clinton-presidency

A Meditation on Hanukkah and Religious Freedom

By: Allen Hertzke

A time of sacred memory for Jews, Hanukkah also represents a timeless account of the quest for religious freedom and the dire consequences of its denial.  Indeed, the scriptural account in the Book of Maccabees richly evokes contemporary challenges to religious liberty, illustrates themes from diverse religious traditions, and echoes findings of cutting edge global research.   

Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/5/a-meditation-on-hanukkah-and-religious-freedom

The Saperstein Effect: It Depends on Kerry

By: Thomas Farr

Sixteen years ago Congress passed, and President Clinton signed, the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Act. The law requires the United States to incorporate the advancement of religious freedom into its foreign policy. 

At the center of the entities created by the IRF Act is an ambassador-at-large, a very senior diplomatic official whose job is to lead the new initiative as the head of an office at the Department of State. It gives the ambassador the authority to represent the United States in bilateral and multilateral negotiations, and establishes the position as “principal advisor to the President and Secretary of State” on religious freedom.

Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/5/the-saperstein-effect-it-depends-on-kerry