We Persevere Roundup – Foreign Policy Edition

 We Persevere is a roundup of items of interest concerning religious freedom at home and abroad. It is curated for RAANetwork by K.A. Ellis, Ambassador for International Christian Response.

The policies that the US government enacts, the relationships it fosters and the initiatives it supports all often have life or death consequences for religious freedom around the globe, particularly the persecuted church and those in the Underground, but also on the larger global Church as she serves the communities around her.

How are foreign policy experts weighing the decisions of the previous and upcoming administrations? Click through these short articles to help our understanding.

US: Shortly after the election, President-elect Donald Trump called roughly a dozen foreign heads of government the day after his election victory, including leaders in Ireland, Turkey, India, Japan and Mexico, Egypt, Israel, Australia and South Korea. A day later, he had phone conversations with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May. Calls to foreign leaders is one of the first orders of business for any president-elect. Read more…

GERMANY: As the main interlocutor between Russia’s Vladimir Putin and the West, Mrs. Merkel – and Germany – have wielded influence. Donald Trump was initially scathing about her – and her refugee policy – during his election campaign. Nevertheless, the chancellor has offered her congratulations and co-operation, albeit on the condition that Mr. Trump respects “shared values” like freedom and the rule of law, and applies them to all, regardless of gender, creed or background. Read more…

EUROPE: Jeremy Shapiro with the European Council on Foreign Relations writes that “if European governments do not take serious steps to secure a good deal with President Trump, they will likely end up with a bad one.” He contrasts the relational aspects of traditional Foreign Policy with President-elect Trump’s pragmatic “Art of the Deal” style. Read more…

SOUTH SUDAN: President Obama’s foreign policy in Darfur and Sudan failed because it lacked a clear strategy. Displaced people in Darfur have submitted a package of demands to the United States President-elect Donald Trump. “It is not easy for Sudan to be among the priorities of the agenda of the United States President elect during his three first months,” Omer Gamaruldin Ismail says from Washington. Read more…

NIGERIA: Boko Haram’s rampage across northern Nigeria stayed far from the Obama White House’s public relations. Disheartening, particularly considering the massacre of innocent Christians and Muslims in that region was even larger than that in Syria, which garnered much media attention. In the face of a Trump presidency, Nigerians expect even less form the US, and continue to empower themselves. Meanwhile, Nigerian papers provided a roundup of world leaders’ reactions reactions to President Elect Trump.

MIDDLE EAST: In an assessment of military strategy in the Middle East, Christopher Preble of the Cato Institute offers his “Early Thoughts on Trump’s Peace through Strength,” here.

IRAN: The Obama administration sent 1.3 billion dollars to Iran earlier this year (on top of $400 million, which some alleged was ransom for the four released 2016 hostages). Many have asserted that this cash boon was used to initiate 7000 new plainclothes surveillance police, and has resulted in an unprecedented spike in arrests of underground church leaders.

CHINA: The 2016 election is being seen by some as a propaganda coup for Beijing. “There is a lot of Chinese schadenfreude about the lowly nature of the debate in the U.S. election campaign,” says Paul Haenle, director of the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy in Beijing. “It’s a total gift to Chinese propaganda.” Read more…

RUSSIA: Despite the seemingly chummy long-distance relationship between Putin and Trump during the campaign,Trump’s erratic behavior and lack of predictability is bound to make Moscow wary of him. Some commentators have pointed out that while Moscow does think in terms of deals, the ‘art of the deal’ in foreign policy is very different from that in real estate: not everything can be bought and sold.Read more…

A SIGNIFICANT GLOBAL SHIFT: Missiologist Stanley John writes: “As we reflect on the changing face of Global Christianity, we must recognize the changing face of Christianity in North America. Hispanic, Korean, Chinese, and Nigerian churches are a few of the many diaspora churches that now occupy the North American religious landscape. Hispanic, Korean, Chinese, and Nigerian churches embody the vitality and vibrancy of Global Christianity.”

Of course, this isn’t surprising news – this global shift has been occurring for a number of years now. These voices are already contributing significantly to 21st century theology and are evangelizing the West – including North America. Watch this space for reading lists and key authors in coming weeks.

Until then… remember we are one, and #WePersevere.