International Religious Freedom

Believing that freedom of conscience is a sacred right, and that the freedom to choose, hold, and change one’s beliefs is central to human dignity and human development, the U.S. Baha’i Office of Public Affairs (OPA) is committed to the principle of religious freedom and works with others to elevate and promote this freedom around the world.

alternate textDr. Paul Marshall, a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute,
presents during a U.S. House of Representatives
International Religious Freedom Caucus Briefing.

OPA Involvement

The Office partners with a variety of governmental partners, faith-based groups, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on events and initiatives to advance international religious freedom.

OPA representatives participate in an informal International Religious Freedom Roundtable, which includes individuals from several other faith communities and faith-based NGOs. OPA representatives, through the Roundtable’s initiatives, have urged Congress to reauthorize the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. They have also participated in Roundtable initiatives to urge the Secretary of State to advocate for the release of imprisoned religious minorities in Iran, such as Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and Pastor Saeed Abedini, both of whom were imprisoned in Iran for practicing their Christian faith.

Since 2011, OPA representatives have been participating in the Secretary of State’s Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society as members of the International Religious Freedom, Stability, and Democracy Sub-Group of the Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group. This body, which includes individual scholars and representatives from a range of faith groups and other NGOs, is tasked with making recommendations to the Secretary of State regarding U.S. policies and practices designed to promote international religious freedom.

For more information regarding International Religious Freedom, view the Related Documents and Resources page of our website.