On November 28, 2018, I designated Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan, as Countries of Particular Concern under the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 for having engaged in or tolerated ”systematic, ongoing, [and] egregious violations of religious freedom.” I also placed Comoros, Russia, and Uzbekistan on a Special Watch List for governments that have engaged in or tolerated “severe violations of religious freedom.” Finally, I designated al-Nusra Front, al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Qa’ida, al-Shabab, Boko Haram, the Houthis, ISIS, ISIS-Khorasan, and the Taliban as Entities of Particular Concern.
In far too many places across the globe, individuals continue to face harassment, arrests, or even death for simply living their lives in accordance with their beliefs. The United States will not stand by as spectators in the face of such oppression. Protecting and promoting international religious freedom is a top foreign policy priority of the Trump Administration. In July, I hosted the first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, which brought together some 85 likeminded governments and more than 400 civil society organizations to harness global attention and motivate forceful action to advance respect for the human right of religious freedom.
Safeguarding religious freedom is vital to ensuring peace, stability, and prosperity. These designations are aimed at improving the lives of individuals and the broader success of their societies. I recognize that several designated countries are working to improve their respect for religious freedom; I welcome such initiatives and look forward to continuing the dialogue.
The United States remains committed to working with governments, civil society organizations, and religious leaders to advance religious freedom around the world.
Over 1000 Gold Star Children travel w/ surviving parent, 1,750 in all, via @americanair to Disney World today as part of our @GarySiniseFound Snowball Express program. This charter left LAX this morning. I’ll join up in a few days. Have fun kids! We love you! pic.twitter.com/OfMEpVF1er
— Gary Sinise (@GarySinise) December 8, 2018
3. Instant Family writer Sean Anders on adopting kids: You ‘commit 100 percent’
5. An event at Heritage Wednesday: Them Before Us: Defending the Rights and Wellbeing of Children Today
7. A history of PEPFAR — something George W. Bush should have gotten the Nobel Peace Prize for
8. Helen Andrews in First Things: Shame Storm
9. Sad radicals
10. Just in case you haven’t seen this:
This is wonderful. RIP to both of them. https://t.co/x71WcOYUiW
— Fr. Aquinas Guilbeau, OP (@FrAquinasOP) December 8, 2018
11. Well deserved:
I am really, really grateful for this. Thank you Christianity Today @CTmagazine and to each of my readers.
Russell Moore’s Storm-Tossed Family Is the Christianity Today 2019 Book of the Year: https://t.co/bw2qGK5L3a
— Russell Moore (@drmoore) December 11, 2018
12. The Last Homily by Mary Eberstadt is a good gift for Catholics or anyone curious about Catholicism
13. Kenneth Woodward: A Grateful Christian
“He has said that if people wish to understand him, ‘they must listen to my music,’ but if they wish to know his philosophy, ‘they can read any of the Church Fathers.’ He also admits that he is ‘more at home in monasteries than in concert halls.’ This man, whose work reaches audiences of a diversity beyond that of any other classical composer, is steeped in the church fathers and cherishes monastic sojourns.”
Powerful video encourages Christmas Catholics to join the flock.
No guilt. No pressure. No nonsense. Just come on Christmas and consider staying https://t.co/0XJzAy6bNm
— Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier) December 2, 2018