How Can U.S. Foreign Policy Promote International Religious Freedom?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
November 12, 2010
Hand Lights Candles in India

The U.S. State Department's Office of International Religious Freedom monitors religious persecution and discrimination worldwide and develops programs to promote religious freedom. The office carries out its mission through its Annual Report on International Religious Freedom; through meetings with foreign government officials at all levels, as well as with religious and human rights groups; outreach programs; sponsorship of reconciliation programs; testimony before the U.S. Congress; through the designation by the Secretary of State of nations guilty of particularly severe violations; and through close cooperation with the independent United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.

How can U.S. foreign policy promote international religious freedom?



eisham a.
November 13, 2010

Eisham A. in Canada writes:

The great states of America lead by example in many issues and did prevail.

but the issue of religion is a hard thing to overcome therefore If I may suggest the following.

* - have deeper respect and understanding when it comes to religion

* - don’t undermined the other group when its comes to the issue of the religion.

* - the governments of the great united states need to create a consulting group of religious scholars (intellectual) that could assist the state department or any other branch of the government or who ever seeks information about a particular religion

And surely that will guide the state DEPARTMENT to a better approach .

November 14, 2010

F. writes:

The answer is In AGORA'

The world will obtain religious freedom when Rome will be Rome again...

God is playing dice

John P.
November 14, 2010

John P. in Greece writes:

Religious Freedom is not negotiable. It's a vital value/parameter of Democracy and People’s Freedom.

There is no doubt that U.S.A. is the “paradise” of this value; a place where everyone is treated in an a non-discrimination way, offering respect and providing freedom to whatever he/she believes in.

There is also no doubt that SD and various diplomatic and NGO programs work perfectly in order to teach the Globe how important “Religious Freedom” is for Democracies all around the world in order to achieve social peace and “future”.

However, I’d like to make a small remark. Some time ago, Susan in Florida wrote (here in DipNote) something very special and true. Unfortunately, I did not keep her exact phrase in my achieve, but I kept her “spirit” in my mind.

In my words: …“as long as religions do not use people for evil scopes (e.g. terrorism, power to control people in a political way, etc.)”.

Susan, if you are listening, I’d love your comment on this.

Brad B.
November 15, 2010

Brad B. in Canada writes:

One thing that would really help is for the US to stop telling the Jews that they have to split up their religious capital, Jerusalem.

No-one tells the Vatican to share space with Scientologists and no-one would DARE suggest something similar to the Muslims over Mecca.

More to the point, there was no objection or outcry when Jews were kicked out of eastern Jerusalem when it was captured by the Jordanians. The same with the subsequent desecration of Jewish sites and the continuation of this behaviour to the present.

Under Israeli control, all religions have freedom and protection in Jerusalem. Calling to change the status quo requires a serious explanation which you are unable to give.

joelle b.
November 15, 2010

Joelle E.B. in France writes:

well simply with some accords with states like what happen in second world war but also to make pression with some states do not respect human rights and i know what i talking about a freedom of speech it look like not all the believes are equal in france in some area like in south of france the front national extreme right abuses permanentely the human rights like control information look or check journalistes give informations to the politic when they are not aload to do it ? in another word we loosing the freedom to express or send news or pratices some believes some communauty are more influents;;;;;it case in var with evangelistes close to nazi group majoritary in this county in south of france and yes infleuce culture and politics decision for jewish it hell a right for the police to provoc or do f*** all and yes some agressions and robery are more for our believes in this departement;;;;;it normaly the job of united nations in new york what hell the french police need to got papers of jewish communauty or israelis informations about police the french franc maçonnerie make first they religious idea to act;;;;the worst times for a democracy what happen to south of france today dutch germany flamand nazis give they printing of spirit;;;;;

Pennsylvania, USA
November 15, 2010

Lisa in Pennsylvania writes:

I think a good start would be for the Federal government to acknowledge other faiths Holidays, not just the Christian ones

DipNote Bloggers reply: Lisa, check out:;;

New Mexico, USA
November 15, 2010

Eric in New Mexico writes:

John in Greece has defined the "how" very well I think in stating that religious freedom is "an essential" aspect of democracy.

So the "how" in this question is simply in the promoting of democracy globally.

There's nothing complicated about it.

It doesn't matter what you believe in, so long as that belief isn't at the expense of another; whether that be their right to exist, their right to "human rights" as a universal declaration of..., for democracy is an "equal opportunity" institution, or it wouldn't be democracy.

We'd be living on the dark side of the moon or something akin to Iran's theocratic totalitarianism and under a leader who thinks He's the one and only God (or the only one able to speak for him and tell us all what to do)

Will someone please tell the grand poobah of Iran to take a hike, drop dead, or just get a grip? Please don't wait for the universe to drop a rock on his pointy little head and wake him up, because that could be a long time comming before that hammer drops.

It's bad enough to have to put up with the rants of this organ grinder's monkey every year at the UNGA, and between Aminidijad and Khameni, one only has to add 'lil Kim in North Korea to have the apocalyptic version of the "Three Stooges" incarnate.

(...oh yeah..almost forgot...'could be comedic if their wern't such misery associated with...)

One could toss in bin Laden and Pat Robertson, the wannabe Quran burning preacher from Florida and the Taliban who burned hundreds of Qurans in a girl's school, and the world can witness idiots gathered in large numbers...or the sane gathered in larger numbers to deal with them in a "surge".

Oh...gee...seems like we already are...witness,...amazing isn't it?

Dumb and dumber, and Forest Gump was right.

In the war of the Sane vs. the Insane, the sane better get busy because the insane show no let-up for being idiots.

The question of the week here should really be..."How can US policy actively eliminate religious intolerance on a global level?"

One can promote tolerance and the democratic institutions of governance that sustains tolerance and freedom...( fluffy positive agenda)

But what do we do with the religious idiot/savants running amok in extemist mode?

That's the $64,000 question.

Either we become intolerant of intolerance, or folks will be victims of it.

Your choice.

(stark reality - nothing fluffy about it)

Remember, all those impressionable younsters out there will be in charge when the lot of us will be old toothless geezers wondering why we didn't get a grip on things sooner.

So I don't think it's affordable to remain passive about it. Or even diplomatic in a lot of cases.

Anyone witness to the birth of one's child will tell you that one creates their own reality, just as you create their's.

Life is good and then you get one...


Amjad K.
California, USA
November 17, 2010

Amjad M.K. in California writes:

By placing the topic on the top of the agenda during high level diplomatic meetings.

For example, the U.S.-Pakistan Strategic Dialogue, in D.C., should include a separate working group focused on international religious freedom, particularly in light of the growing persecution of religious minorities in Pakistan, such as the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and Christian communities.

Susan C.
Florida, USA
November 17, 2010

Susan C. in Florida writes:

@John P. in Greece I am listening, John. Thank you for remembering my comments on freedom of religion. I agree with you that it should be a basic right for all, in all nations. Unfortunately religion, like so many essential human rights, has been used to control people through out human history. The basic economic right to earn a living to take care of one's family should be a part of every nation's goal, but it is not. Sadly, John, most of human history has been the control of the vulnerable by the power driven minority. Human rights does not even enter into it for those who want to be in control, whether through economic power, or through plain old physical dominance with guns, terrorism, bombs, etc., etc... In a better world religious freedom and tolerance would be a given. Thank you always, John, for your thoughtful comments.

November 19, 2010

E. in Georgia (U.S.A.) writes:

I think most countries around the world do not allow religious freedom because they do not understand other religions. When you are raised with one religion and taught that that one religion is the only one that is right, it is hard to accept anything that contradicts what you believe.

I think that to promote international religious freedom, you must first educate the leaders on the different religions (the beliefs, values, etc.). The leaders must understand that everyone has their own way of thinking and own point of view.

Aaron A.
Wisconsin, USA
November 19, 2010

Aaron D.A. in Wisconsin writes:

Here in America we have religious freedom-the freedom to pick any kind of Christianity you want.In other countries who are financially dependent upon the U.S.A.they are greatly encouraged to adopt Christianity as well. Muslims and Jews are just separate denominations of Christianity. What freedom?

Jean-Louis K.
November 19, 2010

Jean-Louis K. in Rwanda writes:

It is not an easy task at all.

But if we start by saying and believing that God is Love and He loves all His children.

That is one way to approach it.

The second point should be values and those values irrespective of beliefs and Faith.

I call it the Ying and Yang, by balancing those concepts, a common ground can be found on which US Foreign Policy and international religious freedom can relate..

Lol, Gbu


Jeanmarie A.
Massachusetts, USA
November 22, 2010

Jeanmarie A. in Massachusetts writes:

The Dialogue among Civilizations Foundation of Dialogue Among Civilizations (Geneva headquarters) meeting of 2009 should be followed with 2010 meeting if possible in December on myriad themes of understanding


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