According to the 2018 annual report of the United States Commission on Religious Freedom, the number of countries facing siginificant deterioration of religious freedom and increases in religious persecution remain disturbingly high. While here in the United States, we are witnessing unprecedented levels of anti-religious sentiment, accompanied by instances of legislative over-reach that prevent Christian businesses owners, charities, schools, and universities from contributing to human flourishing in a distinctly Christian way.
As part of our ongoing collaboration with organizations like the Religious Freedom Institute, we host regular events in Washington, D.C. and produce high-level research on issues of religious freedom in the U.S., Europe, China, Africa, India, and the Middle East.
Thanks to the generosity of Jerry and Susie Wilson, Baylor now has an endowed chair in religious liberty. The inaugural holder of the chair was former Congressman Frank Wolf, formerly the leading voice on international religious liberty issues in the U.S. Congress. The current occupant is the distinguished scholar Dr. Paul Marshall. Dr. Marshall previously served as a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom in Washington, D.C. and is the author and editor of more than 20 books on religion and politics. In addition to teaching a course on international religious freedom in Baylor's undergraduate semester program in D.C., Dr. Marshall frequently speaks to a wide variety of audiences across Washington on issues of religion, diplomacy, and governance.
Working closely with Frank Wolf, Baylor was instrumental in the passage of H.Con.Res. 75, identifying the atrocities committed by ISIL as "genocide," and in the passage and content of H.R. 1150: The Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act.
Additionally, Baylor supported the passage of H.R. 390: The Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act of 2017. The bill, signed into law on December 11, 2018, provides for emergency relief to victims of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Iraq and Syria, and for accountability for perpetrators of these crimes.