3 key takeaways from this week’s first-of-its-kind State Department religious freedom event
By Kelsey Dallas
“At every event, there were senior U.S. government leaders and State Department officials,” said Brian Grim, president of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation.
Grim described attending a discussion led by Sam Brownback, the ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, and John Sullivan, who serves as deputy secretary of state under Pompeo. The two men offered some comments and then turned over the microphone to the audience for comments, questions and recommendations.
“We had the number two guy in the State Department listening and taking notes on what people are seeing,” said Grim, who has led and attended religious freedom conferences around the world.
Vice President Mike Pence, Ambassador Nikki Haley and Mick Mulvaney, who directs the Office of Management and Budget, also spoke at ministerial events. Read full article …
‘Religious freedom good for business’ – Brian Grim
By Devin Watkins, Vatican News
Religious freedom “creates a business climate that is good for pretty much all business except bullet and bomb makers,” Brian Grim tells participants in the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom hosted by the US Department of State.
The US State Department is hosting an international summit on the topic of religious freedom.
Dr. Brian Grim, President and founder of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, is a speaker at the event taking place on July 24-26 in Washington, D.C. He spoke to Devin Watkins about his message for the 80 foreign ministers and governmental representatives in attendance.
Dr. Grim said he told them that religious freedom has strong ties with sustainable development.
“It’s associated with other human rights, and it creates a business climate that is good for pretty much all business, except bullet and bomb makers,” he said. … Continue reading (or listening)
July 25, Washington, DC
At the first-ever Ministerial to advance religious freedom hosted by US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, Brian Grim, President of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, will make the business case for religious freedom at the July 25th gathering of delegates from some 80 nations.
Grim will be joined by Aleem Walji, CEO, Aga Khan Foundation USA. They will discuss how greater religious freedom supports open markets and economic growth and how religious freedom allows faith communities to support sustainable development and economic prosperity.
Grim will also lay out how religious freedom contributes to a strong economy, which in turn contributes to a nation’s security at a side event at the Religious Freedom Center at the Freedom Forum Institute/Newseum at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, July 27. This session is free and open to the public.
Among the 25 most populous countries, Egypt, Russia, India, Indonesia and Turkey have the most restrictions on religion, while Japan, Brazil, the Philippines, the Dem. Rep. of the Congo and the U.S. have the fewest restrictions.
Click to see how restrictions have changed in each country since 2007. Read the full report.
Even before the networks created by China’s massive economic Belt and Road, Chinese missionaries were heading abroad as part of the Back to Jerusalem Movement. Will China see them as local knowledge resources or something else? See related article by Jeremy Luedi.
Article by Jeremy Luedi (published in The Diplomat):
Aided by the networks created by the Belt and Road, Chinese missionaries are heading abroad, much to Beijing’s dismay.
At a time when their compatriots back home are dynamiting churches that have mushroomed across the country, Chinese construction companies are winning contracts to build churches across Africa. The economies of scale and other logistical advantages which Chinese firms enjoy in other sectors are being carried over to church construction. “China is now winning contracts to build churches because its corporations out-bid those from elsewhere,” notes Jesse Mugambi, professor of religious studies and philosophy at the University of Nairobi.
Not only is officially atheist China building houses of worship across Africa, its mega-corporations are also playing a vital role in spreading the good news — literally. Despite Beijing’s own misgivings about religion and proselytization, it appears to have no qualms in supplying the rest of the world with religious literature. One-quarter of all the Bibles printed worldwide are printed in China, and the world’s largest Bible printing factory opened in Nanjing in 2008.
Within Africa, China plays an even greater role, as the PRC supplies a substantial portion of the bibles used in the continent. For instance, some three-quarters of Bibles used in Kenya are printed in China. While it seems bizarre, China’s mass production of Bibles is merely a logical extension of its export-centric economic paradigm. Ironically, these mass-produced Chinese Bibles are finding their way into the hands of overseas Chinese, increasing numbers of whom are embracing religion.
Continue reading full article on The Diplomat …