UN Religious Freedom Report Fails to Protect Freedom

April 13, 2020

In an article published recently in RealClearReligion, Rev. Dr. Andrew P.W. Bennett, Senior Fellow and Director of RFI’s North America Action Team, offers a critical appraisal of a report the UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) issued in February.

The report purportedly aims to address “gender-based violence and discrimination in the name of religion or belief.” In the report, Bennett writes, “the Special Rapporteur calls for governments to create ‘an enabling environment for pluralist and progressive self-understandings to be manifested…’”

Unfortunately, “Under the banner of ‘non-discrimination,’ the report is actually an assault on religious people and organizations that hold traditional views on life, family, marriage, and sexuality.”

While Bennett acknowledges many commendable aspects of the report, he finds it to be deeply flawed in the way it “wrongly targets those who, in good faith and without violence, hold beliefs about certain conduct and expressions that are contrary to the abortion rights and pro-LGBT agenda that the report so clearly favors.”

Offering additional clarity on the extent of the report’s flaws, Bennett writes:

[Dr.] Shaheed’s report utterly collapses vital distinctions between harm and disagreement, bias and principled objection. Accordingly, it fails to promote a vibrant pluralism in which competing, peacefully held beliefs can be followed and expressed in good faith.

Read the full article here: “UN Religious Freedom Report Fails to Protect Freedom”