The 2023 International Religious Freedom Summit which recently took place in Washington, was attended by world leaders, lawmakers and activists among others. The summit aimed at highlighting the issue concerning global religious freedom and faith-based persecution. The organizers of the event are of the opinion that religious freedom acts as a basic human right and also it serves as a vital foreign policy issue. International Religious Freedom’s Former Ambassador-at-Large, Sam Brownback believes that China acts as the biggest threat to religious freedom on an international level. He says that it is “an authoritarian regime” that is aiming to “expand their model, and to export their technology to do it.”
CBN News reports:
Thousands of world leaders, activists, lawmakers, and more are in Washington this week with the goal of shining a spotlight on those being persecuted for their faith.
They’re a part of the International Religious Freedom Summit, which was created to highlight the issue of religious freedom for everyone, everywhere, all the time.
With an uptick in global unrest over the last year, organizers believe religious freedom is not only a fundamental human right but also an important foreign policy issue.
“The United States must continue to be a voice for the voiceless who are persecuted for their beliefs,” said Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX) during the opening session of the IRF Summit.
“In our very diverse world, unless the right to religious freedom exists for everyone, it doesn’t truly exist for anyone,” said Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA).
Despite differing political views, McCaul and McGovern, honorary congressional co-chairs of the event, expressed mutual concern about increasing religious persecution worldwide.
“Countries where religious freedoms are under attack are often countries where repression and instability are the norm,” McGovern said.
“Protecting religious freedom is not just about doing what’s right, it’s also a matter of national security. By resolving conflict, we can help prevent terrorism at home and abroad. As religious freedoms advance, conflict recedes,” said McCaul.
Former Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, says this issue plays a significant role in current global events.
“Take Ukraine right now. Ukrainians splitting off a Ukrainian Orthodox Church from the Russian Orthodox Church was one of the things that caused Putin to move. He didn’t want Ukraine to break out of the Russian world,” Amb. Brownback told CBN News.
It’s Russia’s ally China, however, that Brownback believes poses the greatest international threat to religious freedom.
“It’s an authoritarian regime, it’s seeking to expand their model, and to export their technology to do it,” Brownback said.
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