Best Practices in International Religious Freedom Policy
Two former ambassadors charged with advancing international religious freedom, David Saperstein of the United States and Andrew Bennett of Canada, as well as a sitting commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, Kristina Arriaga de Bucholz, discussed best practices in international religious freedom promotion. Key questions included: What can we learn from the efforts of the U.S. and Canadian governments to advance religious freedom? What foreign policy tools have been most effective, and which have been counter-productive? The conversation addressed the argument that international religious freedom policy can both serve American and Canadian geopolitical interests while at the same time help secure international peace and stability. The panelists also addressed criticisms of religious freedom policy, including the common perception that religious freedom reflects a parochial Western agenda that divides and destabilizes non-Western societies. RFRP Director Tom Farr moderated the discussion.