Dhaka, Bangladesh
A too - narrow vision of religious freedom

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A too - narrow vision of religious freedom

The Trump administration embraces a laudable desire to expand religious tolerance, but its own intolerance toward some undermines the message. Even President Trump's fiercest critics can find something to applaud in the administration's campaign to protect and advance religious freedom around the world , writes the Editorial commentator of The New York Times The State Department's inaugural conference on the subject drew hundreds of activists and scores of foreign officials to Washington last month and produced a statement of core beliefs and a plan to hold follow-up meetings in the United States and overseas. Invoking the 70-year-old Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the conference's concluding statement asserted that "every person has the right to hold any faith or belief, or none at all, and enjoys the freedom to change faith" and argued that "defending the freedom of religion or belief is the collective responsibility of the global community." To which we say, amen. The horrific genocides against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and against the Yazidis in Iraq have been widely publicized, there are countless other examples of religious-based persecution and discrimination - against Coptic Christians in Egypt, Muslim Uighurs and Tibetan Buddhists in China, Bahais in Iran, and others. The Trump administration is not the first to speak up for religious liberty. Since 1998, when Congress passed the International Religious Freedom Act, the State Department has issued annual assessments on how countries handle the issue and has used various government tools to defend groups and individuals overseas who are persecuted or discriminated against. — The New York Times

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