01/20/2021 United States (International Christian Concern) – Today, President Joseph R. Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. His inaugural address centered on the theme of “America United,” which attempted to foster a sense of unity in the United States. The speech largely remained void of partisan division and concentrated on broader themes that are affecting the United States.
President Biden will emphasize several items in the first 100 days that will include coronavirus measures and rebuilding multilateral alliances. The new administration will likely shift how the United States approaches foreign policy, including policy surrounding international religious freedom.
Biden’s speech lacked any form of politically charged language and celebrated major themes of American identity. President Biden refrained from including specific promises regarding his plans for the first 100 days in office, outside of an allusion to a rejoining of the Paris climate agreement and rebuilding alliances around the globe. The speech, while being very uplifting and energetic, did not lay out any clear legislative platform for his administration or specific policy pursuits, other than major domestic themes, like the coronavirus response.
At this point, one can only speculate as to what international religious freedom will actually look like in the Biden Administration. However, some reports have indicated that his team intends to be as hard on the issue as the Trump Administration.
The Trump Administration led the way with the executive order on international religious freedom, the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, and the global International Religious Freedom Alliance. President Trump also empowered the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom in an unprecedented way. The civil society community that has been active on this issue and hopes to see these initiatives continue and grow under Biden’s leadership.
As of now, it is likely that some changes will occur in this space under Biden, but for now the work continues on the government level.
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