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Anthony J. Blinken, the United States Secretary of State released the State Department’s 2020 Report on International Religious Freedom on May 12, 2021. Blinken stated that everyone, everywhere, has the right to it, regardless of where they reside or what their beliefs are, and that the U.S. will defend that right.
The report provides insight into the condition of religious freedom in almost 200 countries, including but not limited to, tracking violations, abuses, foreign policy decisions, and positive government and social activities.
Blinken spoke on various countries facing terrible situations due to a lack of this freedom. Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the Republic of China, are all dealing with some form of persecution in regards to Christianity and other religious beliefs.
In March of this year, after a meeting in Alaska between the U.S. and China, Canada, Britain, the European Union joined the U.S. in authorizing penalties against several Chinese officials, Wang Junzheng, the secretary of the Party Committee of the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, and Chen Mingguo, director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau, who are allegedly committing genocide against Uyghur and other Muslims.
Under the Global Magnitsky Act, both the XPSB and the XPCC’s assets have been frozen, making it impossible for Americans to do business transactions with them.
Earlier this week, the Persian Hebrew Congregation synagogue in Skoki, Illinois was vandalized. Sunday afternoon, around 3:00 p.m., a window was smashed by people wearing masks. The vandals left behind Palestinian flags and antisemitic banners. The synagogue hired security, but no one was in the building at the time.
Boxing Out Negativity Hosts Moving Freely
“Moving Freely” is what people of all races, from all over the world, with all religious beliefs, would love to be able to do.
North Lawndale is hosting the “Moving Freely” exhibit, sponsored by Lawndale Pop-Up Spot, a shipping container village located on a vacant lot, and Equiticity, a racial equity movement working to improve the lives of Black, Brown and other people of color across the U.S.
The event is co-sponsored by Boxing Out Negativity, North Lawndale Community Coordinating Council, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, Divvy, and Working Bikes. Participants can explore how having the ability to move about freely in various capacities, can help control inequality in our communities.
Curator, Mechiya Jamison, a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Urban Planning & Public Administration (CUPPA), says:
I’d really like for people to walk away with a sense of community, knowing that their words and actions are a part of something bigger and that they matter. A lot of times people believe that because of all the turmoil in the world that they’re powerless.
2000 Report in International Religious Freedom
Although Blinken stated during his release of the report, that “religious freedom is a human right,” he concluded by saying it is no more or no less powerful than any other rights.
Trump’s administration seemed to denote that though America is not perfect, religious freedom is deeply respected, while Biden’s says respect all other rights so that religious belief can shine.
Pompeo’s Commission on Unalienable Rights is intended to force his personal preferences while depending on disagreements that threatened human rights, says Blinken.
He vows that the U.S. will continue to work with the various organizations dedicated to fighting religiously motivated acts of violence all over the world.
Opinion News by Brenda Robinson
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
US EMBASSY IN GEORGIA: U.S. Defends Religious Freedom, A Universal Right
US DEPARTMENT OF STATE: 2020 Report on International Religious Freedom
POLITICO: US, Allies Announce Sanctions On China Over Uyghur ‘Genocide’: by Nahal Toosi
HRW: Pompeo’s Commission on Unalienable Rights Will Endanger Everyone’s Human Rights; by Kenneth Roth
Streetsblog Chicago: “Moving Freely” exhibit in North Lawndale explores mobility’s connection to racial equity; by Courtney Cobbs
Featured Image Courtesy of American Life League’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Thomas Jones’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License