No one should be persecuted because of their faith.
Yet in June, U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo released the 2018 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom, showing that challenges to religious freedom continue to grow worldwide.
While the report highlighted some successes for religious freedom over the past year, including the release of Pastor Andrew Brunson from Turkey and Asia Bibi from Pakistan, it showed increasing persecution of believers in countries like China, Iran, and others.
And it’s not the only recent report that demonstrates this.
Here in the U.S., religious freedom is one of our country’s founding principles. And we benefit from that. One study found that countries that respect religious freedom enjoy better education, health, innovation, and technological readiness. Countries that protect religious liberty are also more likely to protect other civil liberties such as political liberty, freedom of the press, and economic freedom.
But not everyone is so fortunate. In fact, around 80 percent of the world’s population live in areas where that right is restricted.
Why should this matter to us?
Despite current challenges to religious freedom here at home, the United States remains one of the freest nations in the world. And our nation plays an important role in prioritizing religious freedom internationally.
As Sam Brownback, US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, said: “We need everyone’s help; everyone has a stake in the fight.”
But even more than that: As Christians, we are called to advance the spread of the Gospel to all nations. And across the world, our brothers and sisters in Christ are suffering as they strive to do just that. We must stand up for them.
That is exactly what ADF International is working to do. Here’s how:
- ADF International legal teams and allied lawyers defend Christians in court when their religious liberty is threatened.
- ADF International works with legal and media advocates to educate the public on the persecution that Christians are facing around the world.
- ADF International is committed to stopping persecution before it happens – through legal advocacy at the most important national and international institutions.
ADF International is actively fighting for religious freedom in countries such as India, where several states have enacted anti-conversion laws used to keep people from changing religions. Countries such as Bhutan, Myanmar, and Nepal have also enacted similar laws. And in Pakistan, blasphemy laws have been used to stop people from speaking freely about their faith. These types of laws often result in violence against religious minorities.
In India, we have actively challenged anti-conversion laws, winning more than 200 cases.
ADF International has also documented the statements of Christian refugee families from Syria and Iraq in order to present their stories to the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, and to the governments of other countries. And it is asking them to act.
Our brothers and sisters in Christ are suffering across the world. We cannot remain silent.
Learn more about the work of ADF International and what you can do to get involved.