Trump Administration’s executive order could jump-start the cause of global religious freedom


In an article published recently in America, Daniel Philpott, professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame and RFI Senior Associate Scholar, argues that the Trump administration’s Executive Order Advancing International Religious Freedom helps to “lift the U.S. government’s advocacy of religious freedom abroad into high-level foreign policy.” Philpott urges those concerned about global religious freedom not to allow recent domestic controversies to obscure what the order achieves.

At a time when over a million of Uyghurs are detained in Chinese “reeducation camps,” more than a thousand Christians were killed last year for their faith in Nigeria, and religious persecution the world over appears to be worsening, the executive order announces that:

Religious freedom for all people worldwide is a foreign policy priority of the United States, and the United States will respect and vigorously promote this freedom.

While past administrations have often subordinated religious freedom to other objectives, such as, “fighting terrorism, securing alliances and expanding trade,” Philpott points to a growing body of research showing that religious freedom “mitigates terrorism and civil war, strengthens democracy, enhances economic development, fosters peace, enables reconciliation and advances opportunities for women.”

Read the full article: Ignore the optics. Trump’s executive order could jump-start the cause of global religious freedom.