International Religious Freedom Review | Volume 1 Issue 1
In 2019, International Christian Concern hosted its first ever cohort of nonresident fellows. Each took on the challenge to advance international religious freedom by engaging with it at an academic level. These fellows come from a wide variety of backgrounds and include emerging human rights leaders, subject-matter experts, and Washington. D.C. professionals. They are passionate advocates committed to seeing religious freedom grow and thrive in the ever-changing international climate mired by the persecution of religious minorities around the world.
Several studies have been published in recent years that painted a stark picture of the growing rate of persecution in many countries around the world including Nigeria, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, and China. The Christian church has been a particular target of persecution. Other religious groups also continue to experience significant threats from their governments, their communities, and various non-state actors. Observing this rise in religious intolerance, International Christian Concern’s Advocacy team sought to gather experts to offer sound civil discourse and policy recommendations to inform the discussion being conducted on the topic of curbing this rising intolerance and hatred.
Experts weighed in on a multitude of issues surrounding religious persecution and offered invaluable input to the process. ICC has gathered a collection of these writings and compiled many of them in the first-ever International Religious Freedom Review published by ICC. This journal is available to all interested parties and stakeholders to read and distribute within their networks.
ICC continues to seek top tier individuals for the Fellows program. One of the greatest sources of encouragement in this effort is the building of a network of thought leaders and influencers who want to see significant change come to the persecuted peoples around the world. The class of Fellows whose work is represented in this publication is an important part of the work being done to turn the tide and expand religious freedom around the world.
Matias Perttula serves as the Advocacy Director for International Christian Concern where he leads the government relations efforts to mobilize the US government to address issues of persecution in countries where religious minorities are oppressed and the freedom of religion is in decline.