A lot can happen in eight years. Children learn to walk and talk, tie shoes, and read. Young people come of age, fall in love, get married. Old people turn gray, grow a little wiser, move a little slower. Eight years is enough time to master a skill, build a career, fulfill a dream.
On the other hand, eight years is a long time to wait — for answers, for relief, for justice. The people of the Nineveh Plain will tell you not enough has happened in eight years to restore the dignity, security, and sense of community shattered by ISIS militants who laid siege to their ancestral home in the pre-dawn hours of August 3, 2014. Read more here.
21Wilberforce Volunteer Reflections on Birmingham Conference
What a blessed day we had at the 21Wilberforce Speak Freedom Conference held July 9th on the campus of Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. We met people from New Zealand, Honduras, the UK, Brazil, Thailand, Nigeria, Belgium, Canada, Germany. The one-day leadership conference attended by 21Wilberforce Ambassadors and Timothy fellows, among others, preceded the Baptist World Alliance Annual Gathering attended by Baptist leaders around the world. Read more here.
IRF Summit 2022 Strengthens Coalition
Approximately nine hundred government officials, advocates, persecuted communities, and emerging leaders recently convened for the IRF Summit 2022 at the Renaissance Hotel in DC. This is second annual Summit held for civil society to learn, strategize, and network for the cause of religious freedom around the world.
Elaine Alam, a Christian from Pakistan and religious freedom advocate that participated in previous training provided by 21Wilberforce, shared on the main Summit stage about 21Wilberforce’s vision for empowering emerging leaders. Elaine also represented 21Wilberforce in London at the global Ministerial of the Freedom of Religion or Belief Alliance. She spoke to an audience of representatives of governments from around the world. Read more here.
21Wilberforce at the Thai-Burma Border
The country of Burma is very close to the hearts of our team, particularly with the relationships and friendships we have formed through the BWA network and other human rights partnerships. Trent Martin, 21Wilberforce Advocacy Coordinator, recently traveled in Northern Thailand and the Karen State (which is one of the 7 states in Burma) border region with the goals of deepening our partnerships and observing the situation on the ground following renewed violence against religious and ethnic minorities resulting from a military coup in early 2021. In Thailand, he was joined by a 21Wilberforce’s Timothy Fellow currently working and studying in Thailand. Read more here.
USIP Special Report: Global Trends and Challenges to Protecting and Promoting Freedom of Religion or Belief
Religious restrictions and hostilities around the world have risen steadily over the past few decades, reaching an all-time high in 2018 — a trend that has only worsened with the COVID-19 pandemic. Against this backdrop, USIP collaborated with USAID’s Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships to critically examine the causes and consequences of freedom of religion or belief violations and search for solutions. A new USIP report, Global Trends and Challenges to Protecting and Promoting Freedom of Religion or Belief, summarizes the key findings of this study. Below are top line notes from the study which will be discussed during an upcoming USIP event on August 2, 2022 at 11am ET. Register to attend in person or online and to access report here.
OTHER USEFUL LINKS
The Observatory of Religious Freedom in Africa (ORFA) is a research, training and advocacy program with a mission to promote religious freedom in Africa. They just released a new report on killings in Nigeria that you can access here.
USCIRF will host a free webinar 2 August 2022 (3pm ET) titled Constitutional Reform and Religious Freedom in Cuba. Watch here.
Knox Thames, US Institute for Peace, moderated a noteworthy session titled “Innovation Hub: FoRB in the Future” at the recent International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief held in the UK. Watch here.