Nathaniel Hurd, RFI’s North America Director, was interviewed this week on CBN’s Faith Nation to discuss our event held October 3 commemorating the 30th anniversary of the passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the 25th anniversary of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), as well as the state of religious freedom more broadly.
Explaining the context and importance of the event, Hurd said, “We thought it was good with the 30th anniversary of RFRA and the 25th anniversary of IRFA to just take stock of where we are in the world and here in the United States. We’re seeing religious freedom under threat, under siege, in both places. And we wanted to remind people of why these two critical pieces of legislation have been essential to defending religious freedom here in the United States and around the world.”
When asked if there is religious persecution taking place in the U.S. similar to what is happening in Europe, Hurd argued that while we’re not there yet, it is certainly plausible if we are not vigilant:
What’s happening in the United States is that on the one hand, you have proponents of different ideologies who are making false claims about what it means to be human: about life and marriage, family and human sexuality… and on the other hand, you have religious people and their organizations – their congregations, their ministries – who are defending what it means to be human, who really are the last guardians of reality. And because of that they’re being targeted [with] litigation, public smear campaigns; the government is going after them; and legislation like the Equality Act continues to rear its head. And you also see criminal attacks on pregnancy centers, on Catholic churches, and others. So we’re not where Finland is quite yet, but we will head in that direction if the rest of us are not vigilant and we don’t push back.
Commenting on the worst offenders of religious freedom globally, Hurd cited China, North Korea, and Nigeria as particularly repressive countries.
Watch the full interview (from 18:09 – 22:10) here.