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A PIVOT POINT FOR GLOBAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM?

Lord, please help us in America to remain true to the fundamental principles of life and liberty that You have blessed us with in this nation. May we hold true to them at home and abroad.

“The global religious freedom movement is launched.”

That is how Ambassador Sam Brownback summed up this week’s landmark international religious freedom summit hosted virtually in Poland. Under the leadership of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the U.S. State Department has held two top level ministerials in Washington focused on this fundamental human right. But Poland taking the reins for this week’s summit, and Brazil already volunteering to host the next one, shows the movement truly is at a pivot point.

This new era is in many ways thanks to focused diplomacy abroad and bipartisan efforts at home that have flourished during the Trump administration.

But now we wait to see what January will hold.

We know the current administration is convinced of — and invested in — the idea that America’s first freedom is a fundamental principle of benefit to people around the world. The Trump administration’s actions speak even louder than its words in this.

Certainly, one powerful statement was the early choice of Ambassador Brownback — an action-oriented former Governor and Senator — to lead what was once an easily neglected backwater office in the State Department bureaucracy. Add to that the elevation of a dedicated religious freedom official on the National Security Council and the incorporation of this right as a formal top tier diplomatic objective, and there can be no doubt about its role in this administration.

That is why the International Religious Freedom Alliance — built with the sweat of Pompeo, Brownback, and their team — is now a bloc of 32 nations. Brownback called them “a network of activist countries” whose high level officials have been in regular contact to advance matters of religious liberty. They banded together even in the face of heavy pressure from nations like China, a nation in which Brownback identifies “one of the worst religious persecution situations in the world today, if not the worst.”

The Trump administration clearly values international religious freedom. And leading colleagues and competitors in foreign governments around the world know it.

What is less clear is how a Biden administration would build on the progress of the last four years. Leaving aside the ongoing legal contests for the moment, if Biden is the presumptive heir to the Oval Office, all those same eyes around the globe will want to know where he stands.

I am concerned by commentary from some “progressive” critics who seem overeager to belittle and push against all advancements of the last four years simply because of other passionate feelings they may have for Trump. However, I am hopeful that more reasonable voices will rise to the top.

Asked about what he sees coming, Brownback noted that President Obama had signed the legislation strengthening his office. He also highlighted the prominent participation of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in Pompeo’s international religious freedom summit at the State Department last year.

Brownback added, “So while a different administration may emphasize different aspects of religious freedom, this goes deeply into the American psyche.  We just had the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower, the pilgrims coming here seeking religious freedom.  And I think… this will continue.”

May it be so. I for one hope the decision-makers to come will lean heavily on the wisdom and energy of leaders like Brownback.

Let’s pray that the White House continues to put its full weight behind the advancement of America’s first freedom around the world.

Aaron Mercer is a Contributing Writer with two decades of experience in Washington, D.C.s public policy arena. He reflects on faith, technology, and the public square at FTPolicy.com. (Photo Credit: Unsplash.)

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10 Replies to “A PIVOT POINT FOR GLOBAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM?”

  1. Father we praise you for freedom to worship You in spirit and truth. Please continue to multiply fruit for the world to worship in community. Bless richly those who champion and fight for the persecuted church. Thank you Our Helper of the Helpless.

    Amen! 6
  2. Lord God we know that Marxism is fundamentally opposed to religious freedom. We know that Marxism has infiltrated the educational institutions and the minds of our nation, that antifa promotes it and so also do a number of persons on the left side of politics. We look to you, Lord Jesus, for your precious children in Marxist nations such as China and also many other nations that are persecuting You. We look to You that you would roll back the infiltration of Marxism in the once free world, roll back the lies from the younger generations who do not have the historical memory and have been subject to this teaching. Lord Jesus, Your Kingdom Come and your will be done! Let America return fully to her roots and call the minds of those who do not understand these roots to be converted to the fundamental principles that framed our land and the other lands influenced by the Judaeo-Christian law and worldview, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

    Amen! 8
  3. Thanks for men like Sam Brownback, Mike Pompeo and President Donald Trump that are not afraid to stand up for righteousness and put a stop to religious persecution. We must cover them in prayer as satan hates what they are doing! Donald trump will be victorious in this election process and will serve 4 more years as our president. God is on his side!

    Amen! 19
  4. Honorable President Trump,

    Thank you for all that you have done to further religious freedom in America!! We are praying for you the legal teams and God to breathe his breath of life on the nation once again. I belong to a group of women who have prayed for our children over the years, we call ourselves Prayer Warrior Moms. We have been meeting and praying for you, your family, staff and our nation since before the election. Our God is Faithful, and Mighty to Save!!

    We continue to pray and believe God will breath his breath of life into the dry bones, of our nation as He did in Ezekiel.

    We love you and thank you so much Mr President!

    Amen! 23
  5. Dear Lord, we pray: Revive and resuscitate the living word of our U.S. Constitution. We bring it to your altar, God- a living sacrifice in need of your resurrection power! It is the source of the “west-running brook” called the United States of America, a country contrary to all that came before it, that was birthed out of Your wisdom given to our founding fathers by divine inspiration. Oh God, restore to us the discarded values of our country’s firm foundation, and truly make us “…one Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and Justice for all”; and keep America a shining city on a hill that continues to be a glorious beacon of religious freedom, reflecting Your Glory throughout the world- Amen!
    God Bless America!!

    Amen! 26
  6. Father, what You have begun, continue until the end. Let our country be a force in promoting religious freedom around the world and let us never forsake our own heritage of religious freedom. Continue to strengthen the hearts of those who have influence in this area to speak out truth. Raise up a new generation worldwide that will value the freedoms we have and to protect them. In Jesus name, Amen

    Amen! 29
  7. Father in Heaven, we place You as first in our lives. We pray Lord for the advancement of Your kingdom, may Your will be done on Earth as it is in heaven. We pray the enemies plans are thwarted, we bind those that call evil good and good evil. Show us Lord where You want us to stand in the gap. As Ex 14:14 states, The Lord, The Lord will fight the battle. Remain calm. Let us be anxious for nothing. We thank You Lord for the precious blood of Jesus that atoned for our sins of which there are many. Help us to see that nothing is outside of what You will allow, give us backbone to stand where You call us to. It’s in Jesus name and to You be the glory forever. Amen

    Amen! 35

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