UPDATED 6:50 PM PT — Friday, February 14, 2020
The Trump administration is receiving recognition for its efforts to promote religious freedom around the world. The CEO of Christian aid organization Open Doors recently applauded the president’s progress on ending religious persecution.
David Curry said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s launch of the International Religious Freedom Alliance is a good first step in countering spiritual oppression.
Curry’s charity tracks trends of persecution around the world and has labeled this mistreatment “the issue of our time.”
Pompeo announced the coalition earlier this month, which brought 27 nations together to collectively advocate for the freedoms of their citizens.
“Every human being has the right to believe in whatever it is they wish, to change their faith or to hold no faith at all. Indeed, we must affirm and fight for that truth now more than ever. More than eight in 10 people in the world today live where they cannot practice their faith freely.” – Mike Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State
Congress has just re-authorized the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom for three more years. This is an important win for advancing religious freedom globally! ODUSA advocacy worked in support of this re-authorization. https://t.co/7qWb5bGJOX
— Open Doors USA (@OpenDoors) December 20, 2019
Curry said he is hopeful that the alliance will help encourage nations, who have remained neutral or negative toward religious freedom, to shift their priorities.
The U.S. Air Force has also been making advancements toward religious inclusion in their ranks. The branch recently released an updated dress code, which will allow service members to wear articles of faith.
The policy will allow Sikh and Muslim personnel to wear turbans, hijabs, beards and unshorn hair through religious accommodation. The headwear and facial hair are allowed under the condition that a person’s appearance remains conservative and neat.
Beards can be up to two inches long and headwear must be a muted color that matches the uniforms. Commanding officers can call for the suspension of the articles if the service member is assigned to hazardous duties.
Previously, Sikhs and Muslims could be approved on a case by case basis, but approval would often drag. The new guidelines will standardize the process and set a formal timeline for approval.
The U.S. Army employed similar policies in 2017 to promote religious freedoms.