Combating the Persecution of Christians Worldwide: A framework for Western engagement
Since the days of Christ’s first apostles, Christians have faced persecution for their faith. Recent research confirms that the current global persecution of Christians is severe and has been on the rise over the past several years. This white paper outlines a high-level and comprehensive approach to responding to and preventing religious persecution. The paper begins by offering an overview of religious freedom in international law. It then discusses legislative advocacy, as so much of the persecution Christians face is either, on the one hand, partially caused by legislation hostile to religious freedom or, on the other, preventable through or punishable by strong religious freedom legislation. The paper then examines opportunities for political advocacy, such as training politicians friendly to religious freedom and pressuring politicians and governments to advance religious freedom. As much religious freedom advocacy takes place through the courts, the paper then devotes attention to the litigation of criminal and civil matters. Finally, because long-term and large-scale change depends on changing ideas and beliefs related to religious freedom, the paper ends by analyzing the role the Church, educational institutions, and media, including social media, can play in influencing culture and society.