Monday, February 25, 2008


Your missionary to Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, Rob Schenck, reporting:

I'm thumb-typing on my Blackberry handheld during a critical meeting in Washington on religious liberty around the world.(So please forgive typos!)

This is a collection of the top scholars and authorities on this life and death matter both for individuals and whole societies and nations.

It's a real mind-blower. We just heard from the top sociologists in the world on the question of whether religious freedom is connected to overall wellbeing--social, economic, security, etc. The numbers can't be challenged: Religious freedom has everything to do with respect for all other rights. This goes along with the philosophy of another group I serve with, the Institute on Religion and Public Policy (that's why I'm here), which says religious liberty is the foundation for all other human rights.

Think about it: The deepest, most passionate, consequential, and surely most important decisions a human will ever make has to do with God, spirituality and all-things religious. Such decisions have enormous temporal and eternal consequences. That's definitely important!

There are representatives of Congress, the Bush Administration and the UN here. The big question of the day has been, Why doesn't the question of religious liberty factor larger in American foreign policy and UN policy? The consensus seems to be that all the agents involved in this question are still working on a false model: that the world is becoming less religious and more secular. That theory is 100 years old but has been proven absolutely false.

The numbers presented here have been impressive and convincing:
The world is just as religious-or even more religious than it's ever been. A full 94% of the world believes in God. The only decline in belief is Western Europe. (Any surprise?)

Lots going on in the meeting at the moment. I'll break off and be back later. Watch for my video report on this meeting and all its related issues posted at this week's Faith and Action Live missionary field report.

Rev. Rob Schenck
Faith and Action
109 2nd St., NE
Washington, DC 20002