Obama: Religious Freedom the ‘Central Goal’ of US Foreign Policy

Demands China 'Do More' to Allow Freedom of Religion

Speaking today at the annual National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama declared freedom of faith the “central goal of American foreign policy,” singling out several nations he believed were insufficient in that regard.

Obama insisted that nations which don’t allow freedom of religion are fueling instability and that therefore imposing religious plurality abroad is a “national security matter” as well as a “key objective.”

Obama took this as a chance to rail at North Korea for holding a Christian missionary, as well as Iran for jailing a US pastor. Obama insisted he had been “elevating our engagement with faith leaders” across the world and demanded China “do more” to allow freedom of religion within their nation.

Despite making this an issue with which to bludgeon rivals, the Obama Administration has openly backed factions hostile to religious freedom when it suits them, including a Bahraini government which openly discriminates against its Shi’ite majority, and Syrian rebel factions that have chased religious minorities out of most of the northwest of that nation.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.