By: Leah Farish
For the approximately 8,000 Christians living in Muslim-majority Morocco, restrictions on religious freedom are not as severe as in many other Muslim cultures, but are still an everyday source of instability, fear, and alienation. In recent interviews summarized below, Moroccan Christians spoke out about how this persecution severely limits not only their right to worship freely and openly, but also their ability to engage in economic activity and contribute to the social flourishing of their communities.
Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/26/how-do-you-survive-your-life-with-christ-moroccan-christians-speak
By: Brian Grim
A new series of analysis and data highlights the connection between religious freedom and sustainable development.
Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights defines Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) as follows: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.”
Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/14/seven-ways-religious-freedom-contributes-to-sustainable-development
By: Samuel Gregg
Though strong correlations have been made between political and civil liberties and religious freedom, it’s unusual for people to make strong connections between religious liberty and the freedom of individuals and businesses to operate in the economy. More recently, however, increased attention has been given to the ways in which businesses can be impacted by apparent infringements of religious liberty. The recent Hobby Lobby case is one instance in which the Supreme Court of the United States maintained that the religious freedom of a business had been infringed by various regulations associated with the Affordable Care Act.
Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/5/religious-freedom-and-business-a-complicated-relationship
By: Carmel U. Chiswick
Whether religious freedom is “good for business” depends on whether a country’s “business” is characterized by economic freedom. Economic freedom requires that people can choose their employer or start their own business, that people can quit their jobs, and that businesses can fail. Similarly, religious freedom requires that people can choose their affiliation, can switch affiliations, or can opt not to affiliate at all. Anyone can start a new congregation or even a new denomination, and “unsuccessful” religious institutions are permitted to fail from lack of adherents.
Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/5/religious-freedom-economic-freedom-and-growth
By: Brian Grim
As houses of worship, sacred places and other religious properties are demolished by governments worldwide—including the Wenzhou Sanjian Church—authorities might want to consider the economic benefits they are loosing by such actions. For instance, a recent study of 12 houses of worship in just one city (Philadelphia) shows that they annually contribute $52 million in economic benefits and services to the city and its people. And another study shows that religious freedom contributes to economic growth and global competitiveness.
Indeed, while the socio-economic benefits of houses of worship have been shown, the costs of their demise, while real, go unmeasured as China—one of the world's emerging and leading economies—experiences a wave of such demolitions.
Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/6/28/the-economic-cost-of-demolishing-houses-of-worship