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Council on Foreign Relations Religion and Foreign Policy Bulletin
April 2014

Spotlight on Religious Scholar Celene Ayat Lizzio

Marking a groundbreaking interreligious leadership effort, Celene Ayat Lizzio was appointed emerging Islamic studies scholar-in-residence at Hebrew College and Andover Newton Theological School. Inspired by her scholarly work and commitment to interfaith dialogue, Ms. Lizzio, an expert on Islamic family law and Muslim feminist theology, has been recognized as a Harvard presidential scholar. Ms. Lizzio began participating in CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Initiative in 2013.

April 2014

Nigeria Security Tracker

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CFR's Nigeria Security Tracker maps violence that is both causal and symptomatic of Nigeria's political instability. Based on statistics from weekly surveys of Nigerian and international media, the interactive guide tracks violent incidents directed at government property, places of worship, and suicide bombings. To better understand Nigeria's volatile state, follow the tracker.


"Foreign Affairs" Interviews Paul Kagame on Rwanda

Twenty years after the 1994 genocide, Rwanda President Paul Kagame, speaks with Foreign Affairs' Managing Editor Jonathan Tepperman about the nation's violent history, his eleven year reign, and the country's political future.
Read the interview »

Russia Attempts to Integrate Crimean Muslims

Stanford University's Robert Crews looks at Moscow's attempts to integrate Crimean Muslims into Russian society in this Foreign Affairs snapshot. According to Crews, Moscow's success in Crimea won't just depend upon economics or international politics, but on the delicate negotiations between Russia's Muslim clerics and the region's Tatar population.

Listen to Crews discuss ethnic tensions in Russia and Ukraine on a recent CFR Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call.

Resources on the Recent Palestinian Unity Agreement

CFR offers timely analysis on the recent unity agreement between former Palestinian rival political factions Hamas and Fatah.

CFR's Robert Danin blogs that it is unlikely that the deal reached in Gaza "is any more credible, or stands any better chance of implementation, than the previous failed unity agreements between the two parties."

CFR's Elliott Abrams blogs about how the unity agreement will affect peace negotiations with Israel and offers policy advice to Secretary Kerry.

Historic Iraq Election Brings New Uncertainties

Iraq expert Ned Parker explains the numerous internal challenges looming over Iraq's future, including religious and ethnic tensions, the legacy of corruption, abuses by security forces, and the presence of Sunni jihadist groups. Read this CFR interview to better understand the complex crisis unfolding in Iraq. Read more »



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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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