Churchnet December 2016 - Page 15

Speak Up for International Religious Liberty

As Baptists, we care deeply about religious liberty for all. We would like to invite you to add your name to a letter to the next president of the United States to urge him to take proactive steps to defend international religious liberty rights.

Created by the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, the nonpartisan letter will encourage incoming President Donald Trump to retain or nominate individuals for two posts: an Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom and a Special Advisor for Religious Minorities in the Near East and South/Central Asia.

Here are a few highlights from the letter:

“We stand in solidarity with the many religious and ethnic minorities around the world facing severe persecution for their deeply held religious beliefs or commitment to no belief. ... People of all faiths Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Hindus included face persecution that at times manifests itself both as heavy-handed government restrictions that try to control people and violent social hostilities that undermine the rule of law.”

“By retaining or nominating an Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom in your first 100 days and retaining or nominating a Special Advisor for Religious Minorities in the Near East and South/Central Asia, you signal your commitment to people of faith and freedom of conscience, in a way that requires no new taxes and no new legislation while strengthening, as clearly demonstrated by those currently in these positions, a highly effective office.”

“As the first nation to constitutionally guarantee religious freedom, the United States has a great history of standing for this ‘first freedom’ around the world, a right closely tied to other human rights, economics, and security. Your swift action in this regard would extend American leadership in this most critical of issues at this most pressing of times.”

You can read the whole letter and add your name here.