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April 22, 2021 (FamilyResearchCouncil) – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its annual report Wednesday, providing an overview of the world’s top violators of religious freedom. The dire status of religious freedom around the globe is a call to action for the Biden administration to prioritize religious freedom in its foreign policy.
Numbers help tell the story of global religious freedom violations. An estimated 50,000 Christians remain in bondage in North Korean prison camps. Over 2500 Yazidi women and girls are still missing following ISIS' genocide. And in 2020, 15 houses of worship were attacked in Nigeria.
Over the past year, many countries used the COVID-19 pandemic as a pretext to discriminate against religious groups, including discriminating against religious minorities seeking COVID relief aid.
However, there were a few signs for hope in 2020, the year studied in the report. At USCIRF's report launch, USCIRF Vice Chair and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said, “we were encouraged by the evident progress” on religious freedom in Sudan, including the repeal of the country's apostasy law. Commissioner Anurima Bhargava also noted that three religious prisoners of conscience whose cases had been adopted by commissioners had been released in 2020.
The International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 established mechanisms in the State Department to designate nations as “Countries of Particular Concern” (CPC) for severe violations of religious freedom. This year, USCIRF recommends adding India, Russia, Syria, and Vietnam to the list. Though India is the world's largest democracy, USCIRF found that “one-third of India's 28 states limit or prohibit religious conversion to protect the dominant religion from perceived threats.” In 2020, Russian authorities raided the homes of 477 Jehovah’s Witnesses. Persistent problems in Syria and Vietnam warrant international attention as well.
For the second year in a row, USCIRF recognized Nigeria as a place where religious persecution runs rampant and recommended a CPC designation. The report stated that religious freedom conditions continued to deteriorate in Nigeria, and “Christian communities were hit particularly hard in the country's Middle Belt.” Commissioner James Carr thinks Nigeria can do better, and he urged the country to “shape up.”
At USCIRF’s report launch, USCIRF Commissioners also emphasized China as a growing threat to religious freedom. In addition to committing an ongoing genocide against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, China continues to crack down on house churches, underground Catholics, and those of other faiths. But as if that is not enough, China also works to suppress criticisms of their human rights abuses at home and around the world.
In April, the Chinese government sanctioned USCIRF Chair Gayle Manchin and Vice Chair Tony Perkins for speaking out about grave abuses against religious believers in China, including an ongoing genocide against Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, they responded to the sanctions, saying, “We won’t be intimidated or silenced.”
The Chinese government’s attacks on the Commission only proves how effective it is. Authoritarian regimes do not like it when USCIRF draws attention to their religious persecution. This is exactly why they must continue to do so.
The United States’ advocacy matters to other governments, even the Chinese government. To maintain U.S. energy on the issue, USCIRF recommends that the Biden administration promptly fill the role of Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom.
Vice Chair Tony Perkins also said in a statement, “In order to maintain the crucial momentum of international religious freedom as a U.S. foreign policy priority, USCIRF strongly urges the Biden administration to take a unique action for each country designated as a CPC to provide accountability for religious freedom abuses and to implement the other recommendations contained in our report.” The CPC designations should not just be a list — they must have consequences.
The Vatican has announced its fifth International "Health" Conference on "Exploring the Mind, Body & Soul," to take place between May 6-8, and nearly everything about the conference is rotten -- morally, scientifically and culturally.
Incredibly, the conference organizers have listed huge numbers of globalist and abortion-promoting speakers such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, vaccine developers, Mormon elders, pro-abortion Chelsea Clinton, population control advocate Jane Goodall, a New Age activist, a prominent UK Muslim scholar, and pro-abortion American actress Cindy Crawford, among others.
The logo for the conference is a circle of people linking hands, colored in the tones of the LGBT rainbow flag, and positioned next to the crossed keys and Papal tiara of the Pontiff. In the ten goals listed for the conference, the Pontifical Council for Culture makes no reference to God or the Catholic Church.
The organization and promotion of this conference is beyond an outrage, it is a closer to a sacrilege (also outrageous!).
Indeed, of the conference, Archbishop Viganò has said that the Holy See is "making itself the servant of the New World Order." [More below about Arbp Viganò's reaction to the conference...]
Please SIGN and SHARE this petition urging the Vatican to CANCEL this desperately wrong-headed appeasement to the secular world disguised as a "health conference."
114 speakers are set to appear at the event, including prominent and diverse names such as:
- The CEOs of Pfizer and Moderna, the former of which produces abortion pills;
- The Director of the National Institute of Health (NIH) Francis Collins, who advocates using fetal tissue in research projects;
- Chelsea Clinton, a strong advocate for abotion;
- The head of Google Health, David Feinberg;
- And, Dr. Anthony Fauci from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, whose advice to government officials played a major role in shutting down American churches last year.
These "VIP" speakers are also joined at the Vatican conference by the following: United Nations representative and conservationist Jane Goodall, who supports population control; new age activist Deepak Chopra; rock guitarist Joe Perry; Mormon Elder William K. Jackson; executive chair of the British Board of Scholars and Imams, Shaykh Dr. Asim Yusuf; pro-abortion model Cindy Crawford; and, by Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff, who has firmly aligned himself with the globalist, liberal elite, by censoring conservative voices on his platform.
The sheer number of speakers holding anti-Catholic views has sparked a firestorm of well-deserved criticism.
And, in an letter published by LifeSiteNews, Archbishop Viganò roundly condemns this conference and, moreover, the infidelity to the Church's perennial teaching. Here is a brief excerpt (read the whole letter by clicking on this link):
"...The Holy See has deliberately renounced the supernatural mission of the Church, making itself the servant of the New World Order and Masonic globalism in an antichristic counter-magisterium.
The same Roman Dicasteries, occupied by people ideologically aligned with Jorge Mario Bergoglio [i.e. Pope Francis] and protected and promoted by him, now continue unrestrained in their implacable work of demolishing Faith, Morals, ecclesiastical discipline, and monastic and religious life, in an effort as vain as it is unprecedented to transform the Bride of Christ into a philanthropic association enslaved to the Strong Powers.
The result is the super-imposition over the true Church of a sect of heretical and depraved Modernists who are intent on legitimizing adultery, sodomy, abortion, euthanasia, idolatry, and any perversion of the intellect and will. The true Church is now eclipsed, denied and discredited by her very Pastors, betrayed even by the one who occupies the highest Throne."
The fact that there is so much anti-Catholicism (i.e., anti-truth) held by so many of the speakers makes it impossible to ask for the organizers to simply disinvite disreputable speakers.
That is why we are urging the Vatican to CANCEL this anti-life, anti-truth, anti-Catholic, anti-health "health conference" altogether!
Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition asking the Vatican to CANCEL its fifth International "Health" Conference on "Exploring the Mind, Body & Soul."
This conference contains such a high concentration of poison for the Faith and the faithful that is should be canceled, not only for the contents itself, but also for the grave scandal it will (and is, already) cause.
After SIGNING and SHARING, please take a minute to contact the following Church authorities to politely, but firmly, voice your dismay and displeasure at the anti-God, anti-life and anti-faith conference which the Vatican has scheduled for the beginning of May.
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi - Head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culture
Email: [email protected]
Phone: [+39] 06 6989 3811
His Excellency Archbishop Christophe Pierre - Papal Nuncio for the United States
Email: [email protected]
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'Viganò on Vatican ‘health’ conference with Fauci: Holy See is ‘making itself the servant of the New World Order’' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/vigano-on-vatican-health-conference-with-fauci-holy-see-is-making-itself-the-servant-of-the-new-world-order
'Vatican hosting Fauci, Chelsea Clinton, Pfizer CEO, Big Tech oligarchs at ‘health’ conference' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/vatican-to-host-conference-featuring-covid-jab-developers-big-tech-leaders-fauci-and-chelsea-clinton
Photo Credit: HTTPS://VATICANCONFERENCE2021.ORG/
The Trump administration demonstrated impactful moral leadership on international religious freedom. Now is not the time to back down.
The last few years have seen religiously motivated attacks, genocides, and oppressive policies receive much-needed attention on the world stage. This provides for an opportune moment to seize on international religious freedom as a bipartisan issue.
As a historic leader on human rights, America has a unique role in advocating for religious freedom for all people, everywhere. For the sake of the persecuted and oppressed, President Biden should embrace this role. The need is great, but so is our potential to make a difference.
Reprinted with permission from Family Research Council