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World of Faith and FreedomWhy International Religious Liberty Is Vital to American National Security$
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Thomas F. Farr

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195179958

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179958.001.0001

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Why Religious Freedom?

(p.3) Introduction
World of Faith and Freedom

Thomas F. Farr (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The book begins with an apostasy trial in democratic Afghanistan. The episode reveals a serious deficit in U.S. foreign policy: in a world increasingly influenced by religion, American diplomacy lacks the policy mandate, habits of thought, training or bureaucratic structure to engage religious ideas and actors. Beset by confusion, and despite supposedly clarifying events such as the 9/11 attacks, the foreign affairs establishment routinely acts in a “secularistic” fashion, instinctively removing religion from the policy table. The disarray does not admit of easy solution; it is fed by attitudes from across the ideological spectrum of American society. There is, however, a potentially fruitful remedy at hand: the U.S. policy of promoting international religious freedom. Properly refurbished and energized, that policy could dramatically increase the capacity of American diplomacy to advance vital U.S. interests abroad and at home. A key to success will be promoting religious freedom properly understood.

Keywords:   national security, apostasy, diplomacy, 9/11, secularistic, Afghanistan, religious freedom

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