On top of the horrific humanitarian crisis caused by the brutality and devastation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in areas occupied by the Russians and their supporters, non-Russian Orthodox Christians suffer “…slander, harassment, deportations, raids on worship services, robberies, forced closures of church-based orphanages, rehabilitation centers, charities, and seminaries, interrogations utilizing psychological and physical torture, and murder.”
21Wilberforce has launched The Defenders Fund to provide direct financial and resource assistance to victims of religious oppression in Ukraine and around the globe and support to those local champions of human rights that defend and advocate for the imprisoned and oppressed. You can join the Global Defenders Network as a legal defender or advocate; host awareness and fundraising events in your faith community or social network; join or create campaign teams; and/or donate directly. Your prayers, involvement, and contributions – in whatever form they take – can save lives and make a critical difference for suffering people. Learn more here.
21Wilberforce Partners with The Burma Advocacy Group
Myanmar’s military seized control on 1 February 2021 following a general election which Aung San Suu Kyi’s NLD party won by a landslide. What started as civil disobedience has evolved into a civil war across the country. As we noted last month, the Biden administration has formally determined that violence committed against the Rohingya minority by Myanmar’s military amounts to genocide and crimes against humanity.
In partnership with The Burma Advocacy Group, 21Wilberforce is playing a leading role in mobilizing thousands of Burmese diaspora and other concerned citizens through its collaborative advocacy technology. The Burma Advocacy Group is comprised of leaders from associations, churches, community groups who are acting with one voice to advocate for the passage of The Burma Bill in the U.S. Congress. Learn more on how to add your voice here.
USCIRF 2022 Annual Report Identifies Threats to Religious Freedom Abroad
Washington, D.C. – The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has released its 2022 Annual Report documenting developments during 2021, including significant regress in countries such as Afghanistan and the Central African Republic (CAR). USCIRF’s 2022 Annual Report provides recommendations to enhance the U.S. government’s promotion of freedom of religion or belief abroad.
USCIRF’s independence and bipartisanship enables it to unflinchingly identify threats to religious freedom abroad. In its 2022 Annual Report, USCIRF recommends 15 countries to the State Department for designation as “countries of particular concern” (CPCs) because their governments engage in or tolerate “systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations.” The 2022 Annual Report also recommends 12 countries for placement on the State Department’s Special Watch List (SWL) based on their governments’ perpetration or toleration of severe violations. Access the free report here.
Data Spectrum Project Helps Others Understand Religious Freedom Data
21Wilberforce recently showcased the Global Religious Freedom Data Spectrum Project in a panel discussion on “Measuring Religious Liberty Domestically and Globally: Challenges and Opportunities” at Calvin University’s Eleventh Biennial Henry Institute Symposium on Religion and Public Life.
Trent Martin, 21Wilberforce’s Advocacy and Training Coordinator, presented the Data Spectrum’s interactive and comparative framework for viewing a wide range of country data from 13 organizations’ rankings on the issues of freedom of religion or belief hosted by the Center for Religion, Culture & Democracy. Learn more here.
Andre Simao, 21Wilberforce Ambassador Shares Hope for Refugees Driven From Their Homes in Afghanistan
OTHER HELPFUL LINKS
Dr. Randel Everett joins Dr. Mark Turman and Dr. Jim Denison to discuss religious freedom, 21Wilberforce, and why the state shouldn’t be run by religion. Listen to podcast here.
A Cuban Protestant pastor who has been detained since participating in peaceful protests last July has been sentenced to eight years in prison. Read more here.
You are invited to attend IRF Summit 2022 in Washington, DC (or virtual) June 28th – June 30th. Learn more here.