The State Department released their International Religious Freedom Report to document the state of religious freedom around the world. There is some pretty haunting stuff in there about abuses of governments because of religion. There are still countries where blasphemy can result in the death penalty and that is from official governments. When I look at the level of atrocities that happen around the world it me thankful for the freedoms we have here in America.
But, as I have spoken before those freedoms are under attack, not just from people who oppose Christianity, but from Christians who would oppose other religions and try to use government intervention to accomplish their purposes. Probably the scariest quote for me from the report is this quote about registration:
[quote]Around the world, governments continued to tighten their regulatory grip on religious groups, and particularly on minority religious groups and religions which are viewed as not traditional to that specific country. Researchers Roger Finke and Dane Mataic of Penn State University found that the number of countries that require some sort of registration has increased significantly over the last two decades, to nearly 90 percent of all countries.[/quote]
The reason this is scary to me is that as a nation we aren’t far from requiring people to register their religion. When political candidates (and a large population of my Facebook friends) feel that banning Muslims from entering the country is a good idea it isn’t a large leap to want to know who all of the Muslims are who are already here.
The problem with that is that once you begin registering people based on their religion you can then specifically target and discriminate against people because of their religion.
Religious freedom is something that our country takes pride in, it is a founding principle and as such we should fight hard that it is a principle that applies to all people who dwell here. If not we may wake up one day and find that what we thought we had has been taken away all because we tried to silence people who weren’t like us.