The rarely-discussed topic of religious freedom was highlighted recently at the United Nations.
As director of advocacy for global religious freedom at ADF International, Kelsey Zorzi says human rights are discussed every single day at the UN, but the right to religious freedom is often ignored. So as president of the Non-Governmental Organization Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, she invited US religious freedom ambassador Sam Brownback to speak at the UN for the first time.
Brownback introduced the idea of creating "a group of friends" on freedom of religion or belief, noting that other countries do the same thing with other important issues like human trafficking.
"There's never been such a group on religious freedom at the UN, so Ambassador Brownback suggested other countries getting on board with the U.S. in creating such a group, which would allow the UN to start passing more resolutions on religious freedom, to hold more events, to maybe do some more research on what's going on worldwide," Zorzi details.
A few countries, including Germany, Denmark, and the UK, have in the past year created similar ambassador positions to that of Brownback's.
"We're seeing some good trends in the right direction," the advocate for global religious freedom says. "They're probably in response to the fact that the situation is really bad. So even though we're seeing increased advocacy, which is real positive, that's not to say the situation is really getting better. But hopefully we will now have the machinery in place for the situation to improve over the next few years."