Ian Speir, attorney, chancellor to an Anglican diocese, and coauthor of “Genocide Against Christians in the Middle East,” submitted to the Secretary of State in 2016, published an analysis in Providence magazine of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) annual report and the 2017 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom.
His key points are:
Both reports make clear that around the world, innocent and vulnerable populations are increasingly targeted, harassed, brutalized and killed for their faith.
However, foreign government bodies, international organizations and the media are more focused on international religious freedom than ever before.
The importance of focusing on freedom of religion and belief is shown by a growing body of evidence that religious freedom is crucial to both stable, durable democracy and respect for human rights, and this one right can enhance political and economic stability and combat extremism. It is also a vehicle for empowering minorities and promoting civil rights such as freedom of speech, press and assembly. Emphasizing this in diplomatic efforts can appeal to countries’ self-interest by demonstrating that religious freedom is crucial to long-term prosperity.
In addition to Syria and Burma, where grave human rights abuses continue to plague religious minorities, the U.S. should be very alert to abuses in North Korea and Indonesia.
The full analysis can be found on the Providence magazine website.
From its beginnings, the Church of Scientology has recognized that freedom of religion is a fundamental human right. In a world where conflicts are often traceable to intolerance of others’ religious beliefs and practices, the Church has, for more than 50 years, made the preservation of religious liberty an overriding concern.
The Church publishes this blog to help create a better understanding of the freedom of religion and belief and provide news on religious freedom and issues affecting this freedom around the world.