Refugee Policy, Religious Freedom Are Much Bigger Than Politics

October 26, 2020

In an article published recently in the National Catholic Register, Todd Huizinga, Senior Fellow for Europe at the Religious Freedom Institute, argues, “Worldwide oppression of minorities, especially persecution on the basis of religion, is one of the greatest and most morally urgent foreign-policy problems of our day.”

“Globally,” Huizinga continues, “Christians make up the overwhelming majority (about 80%) of those oppressed on account of their religion. In North Korea, Nigeria, Eritrea, much of the Middle East and South Asia and many other countries, Christians face harassment, intimidation, imprisonment and even death.”

Against this backdrop, the Trump administration’s current refugee policy poses serious concerns:

Clearly, the issue of immigration casts a long shadow over refugee policy. It appears that the Trump administration is failing to balance the U.S. interest in offering haven to those persecuted for their faith — a desire the president, the vice president, the secretary of state and other administration officials have repeatedly expressed — with the primary objectives of its immigration policy.

U.S. refugee policy should not be understood first and foremost as a dimension of immigration policy but rather as a dimension of America’s efforts to promote human rights and protect religious freedom globally. Important as it is, however, U.S. refugee policy is not the main problem here. Rather, the “heart of the matter is religious persecution itself,” Huizinga explains.

Read the full article: Refugee Policy, Religious Freedom Are Much Bigger Than Politics.