ATLANTA -- There is an increasing "global crisis" of "government restrictions on religion and social hostilities toward religion," an expert on religious liberty told the U.S. bishops Wednesday during their spring national meeting in Atlanta.
That crisis has "enormous consequences for the church, the United States, the success of democracy, the defeat of religion-based terrorism and the cause of international justice and peace," said Georgetown University's Thomas F. Farr, a former U.S. diplomat who has devoted the last 13 years to studying religious liberty.
Farr teaches at Georgetown's Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service and is the director of the Religious Freedom Project at the university's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs.
In a three-hour afternoon session devoted almost entirely to issues of religious freedom at home and abroad, Farr led off the international segment.
Also speaking was Auxiliary Bishop Shlemon Warduni of the Chaldean Catholic Patriarchate of Babylon, who is also president of Caritas Iraq, the aid agency of the church in Iraq.