State regulation and persecution based on religious affiliation continues to rise globally, with effects particularly pronounced in conflict-affected communities. Most notably, religious restrictions and discrimination often accompany, and exacerbate, drivers of weak governance, including distrust and conflict between majority and minority communities and between governments and citizens. This trend raises important questions about how the United States and its allies can most effectively advance the issue abroad—both to protect religious freedoms and pluralism, as well as to strengthen the resilience of fragile states.
On July 28, USIP hosted the honorary co-chairs of the National Prayer Breakfast, Rep. John Moolenaar (R-MI) and Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY). As two of the leading advocates for religious freedom in the world, the congressmen shared their experiences advancing issues of international religious freedom in Congress and abroad. They also discussed how international religious freedom impacts fragile states—from violent extremism to human rights to the protection of vulnerable communities.
You can take part in the conversation on Twitter with #BipartisanUSIP.