Religious Freedom – Critical Challenge in a Critical Election Year

May 31, 2024

RFI’s Miles Windsor wrote an article published today in RealClearPolitics in which he argues that religious freedom should be featured in this year’s campaign platforms in the forthcoming elections on both sides of the Atlantic. Freedom of religion is not an outdated issue, he argues, but rather a “valid and vital vote-winner” and a “precious facet of successful, diverse societies and stable nations.” Windsor writes:

The U.K. is now into campaign season, and with the U.S. election also looming, policy announcements and manifesto promises will flow from leading candidates on both sides of the Atlantic. Among the various tempting giveaways offered in exchange for our votes, international religious freedom (IRF) policy should be of high priority to the world’s leading democracies and should feature in their election pledges. IRF needs to be understood by campaign chiefs not as an awkward and outdated fringe issue to be dealt with reluctantly, but as a valid and vital vote-winner. It is a precious facet of successful, diverse societies and stable nations.

Regardless of some narratives in the West, religion and faith are essential to humanity, and they animate every aspect of public and private life for individuals, communities, and governments around the world. In a domestic and international landscape which has been shattered by division and conflict, the dynamics of religion – and the challenges to religious freedom and peaceful coexistence – matter profoundly. The global religious freedom landscape is truly bleak and continues to deteriorate, demanding renewed commitment and innovative strategies. In the midst of a year in which more than 64 countries will be voting in national elections, are the prospective leaders of the world’s most influential democracies equipped with the right understanding and strategies to stem the raging discord?

Read the full article: “Religious Freedom – Critical Challenge in a Critical Election Year.”