The Christian solidarity movement calling for religious freedom for persecuted fellow believers around the world has suffered a setback since Sept. 11 and will likely have to change its strategy, reports Washington Monthly magazine (November).
The movement had the ear of the Bush administration as it pressed for sanctions against Sudan and other Islamic countries repressing religious freedom. But all that changed after Sept. 11 as Bush feverishly sought to build a coalition of Muslim countries, including Sudan, that would stand against Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.
The human rights drive had been put on the back burner, and Christian solidarity activists were not happy, writes Joshua Green. That doesn’t mean that the Christian solidarity movement is losing steam. It may become more influential and a thorn in the side of the government as it rallies American evangelicals to denounce the administration’s outreach to repressive Muslim states.
There are even signs of an alliance between the movement and liberals concerned that the administration is ignoring human rights in its war against terrorism. In any event, Green concludes that the solidarity movement could force the U.S. to lean on Muslim governments repressing religious freedom, which may help create conditions in these countries more conducive to democracy than militancy and terrorism.