September 25, 2019 - Wednesday
FRC in the Spotlight...
September 25, 2019
In the wake of Trump's historic speech at the United Nations on Monday highlighting the global importance of religious freedom, FRC's Travis Weber was interviewed on C-SPAN about Trump's religious freedom policies and what the president might comment on in his speech before the UN General Assembly on Tuesday morning. On C-SPAN, Travis detailed just how important religious freedom is for all people around the world, and discussed some of the specific actions the Trump administration is taking to tackle this international concern.
In his speech before the General Assembly, which aired just after Travis's C-SPAN segment yesterday morning, the president went after China and Iran on a host of issues, while also highlighting how crucial it is that governments protect the right of their people to believe and live out their faith. As Travis discussed, Iran and China have serious religious freedom problems, among which are their attempts to disguise the suppression of religious freedom in the name of "counter-terrorism" or "national security" -- part a concerning trend we have noted is developing around the world. Iran recently sentenced a 65-year-old woman to one year in prison on charges of "acting against national security" and engaging in "propaganda against the system" after she converted to Christianity. Iran, like other countries, punishes those who convert away from convert away from Islam -- a concern we discussed in our report on Apostasy, Blasphemy, and Anti-Conversion Laws.
China takes a similar approach when it tries to hide its gross abuses against religious minorities. The State Department has accused China of forcibly detaining up to 2 million Uyghurs, a mostly-Muslim ethnic minority, in "re-education" camps, where they are tortured and indoctrinated with Chinese Communist Party propaganda. Chinese officials claim this is merely a "pioneering" approach to combating terrorism. In reality, they are lying to the world, using "counter-terrorism" to suppress religious freedom and claim a mantle of authority to dictate religious beliefs that no government can claim. It is encouraging to see Iran and China called out in front of world leaders at the United Nations. In highlighting religious freedom as he did, President Trump made history at this year's U.N. General Assembly, and we applaud him for making the issue an integral part of his message to foreign heads of state.