March 11, 2021
Each month, FRC's Center for Religious Liberty covers top international religious freedom news -- exploring challenges that believers face abroad.
Here are some of FRC's top stories in international religious freedom this month.
Iran is increasingly in the news as the Biden administration takes a markedly different approach to dealing with this hostile regime from what we've seen in the past four years. Iran continues to foment violence in the Middle East, as attacks from its well-funded proxies continue to strike foreign ships and military bases and send barrages of rockets into countries perceived as enemies.
Inside Iran, another kind of battle rages. The Islamic Republic's state police continue to harass, arrest, and imprison Christian believers. Converts to Christianity from Islam are particularly vulnerable to Iranian state scrutiny, so most new believers choose to live quiet lives and keep a low profile. 22-year-old Mary Mohammadi is one of those converts, but she has chosen a harder path. She has spent time in prison and faces an impending punishment of court-ordered lashes.
Courageously, Mary shared her story with FRC's Lela Gilbert.
She recalled: As I was walking in Valiy-e asr square, the morality police stopped me and transferred me to Vozara Detention Center; the same place I'd found myself stripped of my clothes and abused the year before. This time I was there for 1.5 hours. The reasons authorities gave for my arrest? Headscarf wasn't correctly adjusted, tight trousers, short and unbuttoned coat.
Read the full interview and hear how Mary's faith sustained her at CBN News.
The Biden administration continues to send mixed signals about how they intend to address China's religious freedom violations. Yet now that the U.S. has determined an ongoing genocide against Uyghur Muslims is occurring in Xinjiang, the Biden administration has a responsibility to act. FRC's new publication, "How the United States Can Address China's Uyghur Genocide," offers the Biden administration four meaningful courses of actions.
See FRC's resources:Biden Admits He's Just Paying Lip Service to China on Human Rights
February marked the third anniversary of Leah Sharibu's abduction by Boko Haram. The Christian teenager continues to be held hostage by the terrorist organization due to her refusal to abandon her Christian faith. FRC President and USCIRF Vice-Chair Tony Perkins advocates for Leah as a Prisoner of Conscience. Read about Leah's story on the FRC Blog.
See FRC's resource:
What we're working on:
We recently started an "International Religious Freedom 101" series on the FRC Blog. Check out our first installment, In Turkey, Authoritarianism and Islamization Are Squeezing Out Christians." Stay tuned for more!
In His Name,
Senior Fellow for International Religious Freedom
Arielle Del Turco
Assistant Director of the Center for Religious Liberty
"Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them..."