Last week the State Department’s Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom marked the first-ever meeting to advance meaningful religious freedom around the world rather than increasingly diluted lip service to one of the quintessential foundational principles of our republic and in modern Western government. More than 80 countries and 400 civil society and religious leaders attended the meeting and together produced not only the Potomac Declaration and the Potomac Plan of Action as a road map of how to improve religious freedom in the real world but also as a reality check for current states to compel action. This is a landmark move rivaled only by the passage of the First Amendment among the Bill of Rights, the first of its kind in human history.
Here’s more from The Daily Signal…
Last week may have marked an inflection point for international religious freedom.
Historically, governments that strongly protect religious freedom have been a rarity. It is no small thing, then, that essentially all countries are now willing at least to pay lip service to the idea, enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, that religious freedom is a universal and fundamental human right.
But the gap between what countries say about religious freedom and what they actually do is often depressingly immense.
In this context, last week’s first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom at the State Department was truly historic. The U.S. government organized and hosted the meeting, bringing together 80 countries and roughly 400 civil society and religious leaders.
The event has already produced two results: first, a roadmap toward a new era of concerted international efforts to truly protect religious freedom, and second, solid evidence of just how dire the present situation is.