Ambassador Brownback Gives International Religious Liberty UpdateWritten by Nick Pitts
- Published: October 18, 2018
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Samuel Brownback, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, spoke on the role of the United States concerning international religious liberty at Dallas Baptist University on Tuesday night. Speaking at the Institute for Global Engagement, Brownback highlighted the work the current administration is doing in regards to religious liberty around the world. He specifically highlighted the release of Pastor Brunson in Turkey to the recent Ministerial hosting at the State Department earlier this year.
Before taking his current position, Brownback served as Governor of Kansas from 2011 to 2018 and as a U.S. Senator from Kansas from 1996 to 2011. However, Brownback noted how this role, at this time, was one of the most pivotal of his career. He shared a study conducted by Pew Research that indicated that eight in ten people on the planet live under a government that restricts religion in some form or fashion. While the U.S. does not proselytize individuals into one religion or another, it does champion an individual’s right to decide, being a fundamental right.
Currently one of the most dangerous places in the world for religious liberty is China, according to Brownback. The increasing usage of the political education camps in China among the Uyghur Muslims, coupled with the burning of Bibles and tearing down of crosses among Christians, is cause for alarm. Brownback also noted the advancement of artificial intelligence. The technology in and of itself is concerning for the Ambassador. However, he shared about developers’ potential willingness to export their technology to nations and entities around the world, which only adds to his growing concern.
Dr. Nick Pitts, Executive Director of the Institute for Global Engagement, shared how the evening’s lecture was just a capstone to a remarkable day. He elaborated on the various meetings that took place during the day, sharing how organizations from across the Dallas area met on campus with Ambassador Brownback to share their concerns from their experiences within their work around the world. From South Sudan to China, a variety of entities gathered on the campus of Dallas Baptist University to share the global struggles of religious freedom. However, Pitts summed up the meetings to the crowd by channeling a quote from C.S. Lewis. “Aslan is on the move,” Pitts said, referencing the idea that the Christian God is working even in places where religion is being squelched out.
The Institute for Global Engagement is a Christian, non-sectarian think tank dedicated to addressing issues in the public square with biblical distinctiveness. The mission of the IGE is to be a moral and spiritual catalyst for renewal in our culture. Founded in 2015, the IGE values the biblical narrative, thoughtful consideration, and gracious civility.
Dallas Baptist University is a nationally ranked, liberal arts, global university, with a mission to produce servant leaders through the integration of faith and learning. DBU is home to more than 5,000 students, representing more than 60 countries around the world.