- ADF International addresses parental rights during government-backed religious freedom event
- Religious freedom rights likely to become priority in foreign policy agenda
WASHINGTON, D.C. (26 July 2018) – Today, ADF International and the James Dobson Family Institute co-sponsored a side event at the margins of the “Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom”. Hosted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the Ministerial is a three-day gathering of high-level government officials, civil society representatives, and religious leaders discussing the right to religious freedom as a priority in the future US foreign policy agenda.
“The State Department has turned an important corner in calling for this Ministerial consultation,” said Michael Farris, CEO of ADF International.
“For the first time in a very long time, we have returned to the very roots of this nation. Religious freedom stands at the pinnacle of our concerns, just as it did for our nation’s founders.”
Protecting parental rights
In the course of the Ministerial, Farris also spoke at the side event “Parental Rights: A Matter of Religious Freedom?”
“Religious freedom and parental rights are not secondary,” said Farris. He also mentioned the case of the German home-schooling family Wunderlich whose children were taken into state custody unannounced by a police commando using a battering ram to access their house. Although the children were returned to the family, ADF International, together with the Home School Legal Defense Association, brought the case before the European Court of Human Rights, challenging Germany’s laws on education.
“Religious freedom and parental rights are not side issues. They are absolutely central to freedom. Nations that violate any fundamental human rights are properly considered rogue states. No country should strip their citizens of their parental right to direct the religious and moral education of their children,” Farris explained.
Other speakers at the event included Dr. Tim Clinton, Executive Director of the James Dobson Family Institute, Tony Perkins, Commissioner of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, and Michael Donnelly, Director of Global Outreach at the Home School Legal Defense Association.