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US foreign policy should promote religious freedom, says former State Dept. official

Catholic World News - April 25, 2013

The kidnapping of Orthodox bishops in Syria, and the possible involvement of rebels supported by the US government, have spurred new calls for an emphasis on religious freedom in American foreign policy.

"US foreign policy with respect to religious freedom consists almost entirely-- when it consists of anything--of rhetorical condemnations of acts such as this,” said Thomas Farr, a former State Department official who now directs the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs. Such protests are ineffectual, Farr said. He called for active steps to promote religious freedom through US policy.

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  • Posted by: Defender - Apr. 26, 2013 7:20 PM ET USA

    You can't depend on this administration for anything, especially anything having to do with religion (unless it's Islam, of course).

  • Posted by: frjpharrington3912 - Apr. 25, 2013 11:52 PM ET USA

    I totally agree with Dr. Farr of Georgetown University that we should engage governments and societies to develop structures of religious freedom, especially those which promote or tolerate religious persecution of any kind. As a former member of the U.S. State Department and an astute observer of American affairs he surely is aware of the tragic irony of his words seen against the breakdown of these very structures in our country, notwithstanding their government and societal presence.

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