Why Religious Liberty Should Be a Foreign Policy Priority

Joe Carter | May 15, 2017


The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) recently released the 2017 edition of its annual report on religious liberty around the world. In their report, the USCIRF documents religious freedom abuses and violations in 36 countries and makes country-specific policy recommendations for U.S. policy.

One country worthy of particular attention is Russia. For the first time Russia has been designated as a “country of particular concern” under the International Religious Freedom Act for “particularly severe violations of religious freedom.”

Ironically, Russia was set to host a first-ever summit on religious freedom sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. As Franklin Graham announced on Facebook last August:

Earlier this year I announced that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association would hold the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians–the first event of its kind in Moscow.

We were looking forward to this significant event being held in Russia because no one knows modern Christian persecution better than the church that suffered under communist rule. However, just a few weeks ago Russia passed a law that severely limits Christians' freedoms.

It seems that every week we learn of another example from a part of the globe that shows how critically we need…


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