U.S. Needs a New Strategy for Promoting Religious Freedom in China


In an article in the most recent issue of First Things, Thomas Farr, president of the Religious Freedom Institute, writes that “We are witnessing a global crisis in religious freedom” and that “China presents a particularly troubling case.”

Based on empirical research linking religious freedom to a variety of social goods, Farr calls on the United States to develop an evidence-based strategy for engaging China more effectively on these issues:

A new strategy of pragmatic argument would stand a chance of actually reducing religious persecution in China. Economic growth is a major ­priority for Chinese policymaking, both domestic and international. If Chinese authorities come to view the country’s religious communities as an economic asset and a driver of modernization, rather than as a source of social and political instability, they will become more receptive to arguments against persecution.

Read the full article: Diplomacy and Persecution in China.