Religious Freedom Initiative

According to the 2015 annual report of the United States Commission on Religious Freedom, the number of countries where religious persecution is "especially severe" nearly doubled in 2015 alone (from 9 to 17). 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 the Religious Freedom Research Project at Georgetown University -- a collaboration that brings together the nation’s largest Baptist University with the nation’s oldest Catholic University -- we host regular events in D.C. and produce high level research on issues of religious freedom in the U.S., Europe, China, Africa, India, and the Middle East.

On account of 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, while the current occupant is the distinguished scholar Paul Marshall.

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. Baylor is currently supporting H.R. 390: The Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act of 2017. The bill 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.