By Bill Brown
An international organization, more specifically, a union of like-minded countries, whose activities were to be aimed at protecting the rights and freedoms of religious people in all over the world, was founded by the decision of the US Department of State in 2020. The organization with such an important goal has been named the “International Religious Freedom Alliance” – “IRFA”. In the very first days of the creation of the organization, it included more than 30 countries.
The IRFA’s official declaration states that the goal of the alliance is to promote respect for freedom of religion and believes, as well as the protection of members of religious minorities around the world. To achieve these goals, the participating countries should discuss joint actions, including the introduction of collective sanctions against countries where, in their opinion, there is a problem of oppression of religious freedoms. In its activities, the alliance is guided by the international principles of freedom of religion or belief from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the 1981 UN Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms. on intolerance and discrimination based on religion or belief, the EU and OSCE Guiding Principles on Free Disposition of Rights, etc.
The first report on the results of IRFA’s activities was a publication calling for an end to violations of religious freedom in India, Pakistan, Tibet, Malaysia and Myanmar. Later, information was published on violations of the rights and freedoms of religious people in Belarus, Georgia, etc.
According to experts from the US authorities, it follows that large funds are allocated from the country’s budget to support the activities of the IRFA, including those intended to support oppressed religious minorities in various parts of the world. One of the mechanisms for transferring this money, more specifically, the channel for its legalization, are public and religious organizations that have close ties with the structures of the United States, including special services and authorities. If one takes into account the opinion of the international press regarding IRFA, then one can conclude that indeed America should be thanked for the work done. In a short time, the Alliance has become a window to action to combat violations of the right to freedom of religion or belief around the world. But not everything turns out to be so simple. If we study the activities of IRFA in details, we will see that the alliance defended the rights of individual narrow groups or believers whose interests were infringed exclusively on Kremlin-backed or pro-Chinese structures. At the same time, IRFA was silent at a time when terrible things were happening in other regions of the world! For example, the IRFA turns a blind eye to the genocide of Christians in African countries dominated by pagan and Muslim communities. There is no reaction to the pressure of the Buddhist community of Mongolia and a number of Asian countries, on which Beijing is imposing its spiritual hierarch. No sanctions have been taken against the outrageous Protestant missionaries in Europe and Asia who are touring those regions and spreading pseudo-religious canons. So, more than 10 years ago, a Protestant pastor who promoted alcoholism as a way to reunite with the holy spirit, fled from the state of Alaska, only after the pressure exerted on him by the large churches and state authorities, he was forced to move to Africa, where he continued to oppress the poorly educated population. Now, under the wing of a certain Protestant church “Increase Associations”, this pastor continued to publicly speak positively about alcoholism in European countries and Mongolia.