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Council on Foreign Relations Religion and Foreign Policy Bulletin
January 2013

January 2013

Nigeria Security Tracker

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(Akinleye/Courtesy Reuters)


The Nigeria Security Tracker (NST), a new project from the Council on Foreign Relations' Africa program, documents and maps political, economic, and socially motivated violence in Nigeria.

The Tracker covers more than eighteen months of data beginning on May 29, 2011, the date of Goodluck Jonathan's inauguration as president. CFR's John Campbell, former ambassador to Nigeria, believes that President Jonathan's election contributed greatly to a surge in tension between Muslims and Christians, further dividing the country on regional and religious lines.

Use this new interactive tool to learn more>>


Spotlight on Steve Gutow

Steve Gutow is a leader in fostering open and deferential civil discourse across denominations. Rabbi Gutow is president and CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), where he and his colleagues work to promote respectful dialogue through their Civility Campaign. Rabbi Gutow is a respected author and has been named to Newsweek's list of Most Influential Rabbis. To learn more about Rabbi Gutow and the Civility Campaign, visit the JCPA's website.

Violence Against Women in India

CFR's Isobel Coleman reflects on the brutal New Delhi gang rape that has triggered outrage across India, and discusses the larger issue of gender inequality in this video overview.

Listen as Coleman explores the culture of complicity and the unique opportunity for change that has resulted from this tragic event.

Difficult Times Ahead for Iraq

In this CFR interview, Meghan O'Sullivan analyzes the state of Iraq in the year since the U.S. military has departed and the influence of the crisis in Syria. O'Sullivan predicts the government of Nouri al-Maliki will face a number of challenges in the coming year, including strong opposition from Sunnis, Kurds, and fellow Shiites.

For O'Sullivan, "many Shiite Iraqis anticipate that, once successful in overthrowing the Alawite regime in Syria, radical Sunni groups will shift their focus to Iraq, renewing violent challenges to Baghdad."

Mali Conflict: Three Things to Know

As French forces intervene in Mali to curtail rebel forces in the country's northern region, CFR's John Campbell highlights three things to know about Mali and the escalating conflict.

Watch this brief video to hear Ambassador Campbell explain the tension between Mali's north and south, the influence rebels from Libya and the extremist group Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb have played, and the intervention by the French.

China, Tibet, and Religious Oppression

As part of CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call series, Ellen Bork, director of Democracy and Human Rights at the Foreign Policy Initiative, led a conversation on the relationship between China and Tibet and the ongoing religious persecution in Tibet.

Listen to Ms. Bork describe the situation in the region and field questions from participants. To sign up for conference call invitations, email



About CFR

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for its members, government officials, business executives, journalists, educators and students, civic and religious leaders, and other interested citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. Founded in 1921, CFR takes no institutional positions on matters of policy.

About CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Initiative

The CFR Religion and Foreign Policy Initiative connects religious and congregational leaders, scholars, and thinkers with CFR's resources on U.S. foreign policy and provides a forum for this community to discuss a broad range of pressing international issues. For more information, please contact Lizzy McCourt, associate director for the National Program & Outreach, at 212.434.9848 or

About the Religion and Foreign Policy Portal on

CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Portal,, is a "first stop" on the internet for members of the religious community seeking information on and analysis of U.S. foreign policy and global developments. In addition to a wide range of CFR materials—including work from the think tank, interviews with experts, meeting transcripts, and new backgrounders—users will find analysis and documents from other sources that have been carefully selected by the website's editorial staff for their relevance and quality.


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