RFI President Discusses Global Deterioration of Religious Freedom on Fox News Radio

February 8, 2024

Lauren Green, Chief Religion Correspondent at Fox News, recently interviewed RFI President Eric Patterson on her Lighthouse Faith podcast, which airs on Fox News Radio. They had a wide-ranging conversation about the troubling state of religious freedom in the United States and around the world.

“When it comes to international religious freedom, the world is actually less free today,” Patterson began. Over the last 15 years, Patterson continued, countries like Brazil, Russia, India, China, Turkey, South Africa, and elsewhere are moving in exactly the wrong direction. Persecution of religious minorities in these societies is worsening today. Persecution of members of the majority faith community in some countries is also worsening. Patterson pointed to Iran as a case in point.

They dedicated considerable time to the state of religious freedom in China and Nigeria, each of which represent different profiles of violent persecution in the world today, one driven by state repression, as in communist China, and the other by violent non-state actors that government authorities fail to address, as in Nigeria. Patterson also mentioned the entirely inadequate U.S. response to what is happening in Nigeria, and west Africa more broadly, and briefly outlined a coalition approach that the United States could lead to improve religious freedom conditions in the region.

Green and Patterson then turned to examining the growing legal coercion and cultural intimidation of religious people and institutions that hold views contrary to the extreme progressive ideology that has taken hold among elites in the United States, Canada, and western Europe. People of faith who hold to enduring convictions on human sexuality, marriage, the natural distinctions between male and female, and the dignity of human life at the beginning and end of life are increasingly out of step with those who hold power and influence in the West, and they are often being punished accordingly. Patterson explained some of the legal protections that religious people continue to enjoy, particularly in America, despite the threats they face. And he offered the RFI Crisis Toolkit for Religious Institutions as a tool that can help faith organizations holding these enduring convictions to be in a better position to navigate this increasingly hostile cultural and legal environment.

Listen to the full episode: Religious Freedom is Advancing Backwards.