What is the Freedom Center?
The Need For Collaborative Action
Today, more people globally are persecuted for their faith and for acting according to their conscience than in any time in history. We have been witnessing across the globe severe, routine acts of intolerance, discrimination, persecution and even genocide against religious believers on account of the beliefs they hold. In response to these growing challenges, there is a need for a new era for education, protection and advocacy for international religious freedom.
Despite the magnitude of the problem and growing trends of religious repression worldwide, there has been virtually no coordinated or effective efforts in the West to broadly activate and facilitate collaborative action of grassroots networks for defending and advancing these freedoms—generally referred to in the U.S. as "international religious freedom" (IRF) or "freedom of religion and belief" (FORB) in Europe and many other countries.
There are numerous non-governmental organizations (NGOs) engaged in advocacy, many with single-issue agendas. Campaigns for reforms and prisoners of conscience are often small and poorly funded. Potentially powerful grassroot networks are disconnected, while large faith-based and other groups remain untapped. The historic focus on high-level advocacy for a few visible cases has achieved some success, but ultimately has done little to tangibly help the vast number of "invisible" people suffering for their religious identity, their faith, and or acts of conscience.
Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), specifies that “no one shall be subject to coercion that would impair his freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice.”
The Freedom Center—An Online Platform For Resources And Action
The Freedom Center’s goal is to spur collaboration on international religious freedom campaigns by providing a centralized place for stakeholder communication, engagement and advocacy. The Center equips global faith-based networks, international religious freedom organizations, and the international religious freedom community with resources, training, and tools to support persecuted communities, challenge repression, and expand freedom of religion and belief.
This flagship online platform informs and prepares stakeholders to take action with a curated library of resources (reports, data/stats, videos, relevant U.S. and international law policies, a primer on campaign strategy, innovative campaign and communication tools, etc.), and peer-to-peer fundraising capabilities. The Center enables faith-based networks, religious freedom organizations and others to keep stakeholders up-to-date on persecuted people and related campaigns by sending personalized emails and capabilities to embed issue profiles, individual campaigns, and sign-up forms on their own websites. This powerful resource helps users inform stakeholders and make their voice heard in a seamless experience.
21Wilberforce, a 501(c)(3) IRF-dedicated human rights organization, is responsible for the day-to-day development, coordination, and operations of the Freedom Center. Our team include a tech developer, partnership coordinator, communications, advocacy and campaign development coaches and trainers. To learn more about 21Wilberforce, please visit www.21wilberforce.org.