Religious Freedom Abroad
March 6, 2012
RFP director Tom Farr discusses the global crisis in religious liberty and calls for a strategy of “religious realism” in American foreign policy. Based on this strategy, policy makers should recognize the high religiosity around the globe and accept the role religion plays in politics. It is to the interest of the United States to promote religious liberty as a means of countering Islamist extremism, by inducing religious actors to compete democratically in struggling democracies. Since stability can no longer be expected out of tyranny, as the Arab Spring has shown, for it to proceed from stable democracy the Muslim-majority nations must grant equal religious liberty to all faith traditions and to the minorities in particular. While the current US foreign policy has experienced a diplomatic inertia regarding religious liberty, religious freedom should be integrated into US strategic agenda to counter terrorism and to build democracy with greater efforts.