Author Archive: Derek Davis

State Department Reports on Serious Freedom Abuses Abroad (CenterForLiberty.org)

Since its creation in 1998, the USCIRF has been controversial, both at home and abroad. At home, criticism typically focuses on the charge that the US should be more willing to assist CPC nations to improve their record rather than just putting them on a “blacklist” for the world to see. Abroad, nations have frequently criticized the US for its attitude of “arrogance” in thinking that it is superior to other sovereign nations and entitled to criticize them for religious freedom abuses when the US hardly has a spotless record itself. Nevertheless, after 15 years of activity, there is little doubt that the USCIRF reports have often motivated CPC nations to improve their religious freedom records. USCIRF's work has also exposed serious religious freedom abuses that should be brought to the world's attention.

 
 

BREAKING NEWS: President Obama Creates New Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships

By Derek H. Davis, J.D., Ph.D. Excerpt: "President Barack Obama signed an executive order on Thursday, February 5, to create the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The office replaces the controversial Office of Faith-based and Community Initiatives that George W. Bush created to provide government grants to churches and other faith-based organizations to administer welfare programs. "The goal of this office will not be to favor one religious group over another–or even religious groups over secular groups," Obama stated when announcing the new office at the annual National Prayer Breakfast. The purpose, he said, “will simply be to work on behalf of those organizations that want to work on behalf of our communities, and to do so without blurring the line that our founders wisely drew between church and state."

 
 

BREAKING NEWS – Russia Moves to Liquidate Fifty-Six Religious Groups

BREAKING NEWS – Russia Moves to Liquidate Fifty-Six Religious Groups

By Derek H. Davis – On October 15 the Russian Ministry of Justice took steps to begin liquidating 56 non-Russian Orthodox religious organizations. The groups face dissolution, Russian news sources reported, because they failed to file required annual reports on their activities. Those targeted include a range of non-Russian Orthodox organizations and churches but hardest hit were various Christian groups, both Protestant and Catholic. Baptist groups were prominent on the list, but Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, Seventh-day Adventist and Pentecostal groups were also included. Well known humanitarian groups such as World Vision and Youth with a Mission were also named, as was the Russian branch of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Non-Christian organizations were also named, including Muslim and Buddhist associations.