The Institute on Religion and Democracy is part of a coalition of individuals and organizations dedicated to freedom of religion that this week urged the President of the United States to take action against United Nations’ overreach threatening that fundamental and inalienable right.
Along with leaders representing organizations as the Heritage Foundation, Concerned Women for America, the Ethics and Public Policy Center, the Family Research Council, and others, IRD’s Mark Tooley expressed serious concern to President Trump about the February 27, 2020 report of the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, Mr. Ahmed Shaheed, to the UN Human Rights Council.
The letter, attached below, explains that the report’s “dangerous and ill-founded attack on religious freedom” is part of a “broader, troubling trend of UN human rights entities politicizing human rights” but this report is “particularly egregious.”
The purpose of Shaheed’s report was to address gender-based violence and discrimination in the context of freedom of religion or belief. Distressingly, the report all but ignores the real problems faced by women from persecuted, minority religions, problems such as abduction, enslavement, rape, forced conversion, and forced abortion. Most of the report is focused on “condemning the religious beliefs of those who believe in protecting unborn life, marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and even the immutability of biological sex.”
The report advances a social narrative that undermines the concepts of human rights and religious freedom. This narrative has long been on the agenda of the United Nations – particularly by countries condemning the concept of the “universality” of human rights. But it appears to be growing in the UN and this social narrative damages the work to defend persecuted Christians and those of other persecuted faiths.
IRD will continue to pursue this critical issue along with our partners. The letter to President Trump is attached. And you can read the Special Rapporteur’s report, as well as this article by the Heritage Foundation’s Emilie Kao and Concerned Women for America’s Shea Garrison.