One Big Thing: Do you think religious freedom is under attack around the world and in the United States?
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What is it?
- The State Department’s Report on Religious Freedom showed that 80 percent of people live in places where religious freedom is under attack.
- Around the world, religious freedoms are under attack as people of all religions face persecution for the faith they practice. Some examples include China’s persecution of Uighurs, clashes between Muslims and Hindus in India, Christians in Iraq and Burma’s persecution of the Rohingya.
- The United States, where religious freedom is enshrined in the First Amendment, has seen an increase of acts of prejudice, hate speech, and violent extremism, particularly aimed at the Jewish community as was witnessed with the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre.
Why is it important?
- Religious freedom is important because it protects each citizens’ right to live, speak, and act according to their beliefs peacefully and publicly. This fundamental freedom has also been frequently attributed to why the U.S. has managed to avoid many of the religious conflicts that have torn other nations apart.
- Today, many issues of religious freedom manifest on social media platforms. Many companies have begun to institute oversight committees for content moderation in response to the new trend.
- The trends are not promising, particularly when looking at the United States and the rise of anti-Semitism. According to the Anti-Defamation League, 2019 recorded the most incidents since 1979.
What can you do?
- Learn more from:
- United States Commission on International Religious Freedom.
- Anti-Defamation League’s 2019 Year in Review
- Religious Freedom Institute
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