Open Doors Petitions Trump and Clinton for Stance on Religious Freedom
Open Doors USA, an organization advocating for religious freedom has opened a petition asking US Presidential candidates their view and their commitment to work for religious freedom and protect people of faith specifically Christians around the world.
Officials from Open Doors USA and the Institute for Global Engagement last week met with both the Trump and Clinton campaign speaking up for religious freedoms and asking where the candidates stand on this important issue.
Kristin Wright, Director of Advocacy at Open Doors USA wrote this concerning the meetings,
"Going from the Trump Tower to the Brooklyn-based Clinton campaign headquarters, I observed in both campaign meetings great openness and attention to the issue of persecution, and a sincere desire to help those who are persecuted for their faith. (I just have to say that seeing that high level of interest from both sides was worth all of the work that it took over the past few months to make these meetings happen!)
As a group, we presented a series of non-partisan, practical recommendations on international religious freedom for the next administration. Among other recommendations, we urged the next administration ensure that highly qualified people are appointed as the U.S. Department of State Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom and the Special Envoy for Religion and Global Affairs within the first 100 days in office. These positions are so crucial to helping the persecuted. I was encouraged that both campaigns were receptive to this and agreed to the importance of timely appointments."
The group approached the Clinton and Trump campaigns in order to urge the presidential candidates to put forth their plans of action to address mounting religious persecution around the world. The following is a statement from the two meetings:
“We, the undersigned, approached both presidential campaigns to have a non-partisan conversation about international religious freedom and presented recommendations. The conversations were wide-ranging, and we were encouraged that both campaigns seem to be in broad support of strengthening international religious freedom. We found both campaigns to be taking this issue—and our recommendations—seriously, particularly our emphasis that the new administration ensure highly qualified people are appointed as the U.S. Department of State Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom and the Special Envoy for Religion and Global Affairs within the first 100 days in office. We expressed our readiness to serve as a resource to both campaigns. No matter the result of the election, there was agreement that the American government, and society, should work to protect all those living under religious oppression and improve our collective effort to deepen and expand religious freedom for all faiths worldwide.”
A series of recommendations was presented to both campaigns in New York. In addition to encouraging the swift appointment of qualified people to key positions, the group encouraged the next president to implement (and amend where necessary) the existing U.S. Strategy on Religious Leader and Faith Community Engagement worldwide and encourage America’s civil society to participate in these key discussions, among other suggestions.