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Council on Foreign Relations Religion and Foreign Policy Bulletin
February 2012

The Struggle for Religion in China

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(Gentile/Courtesy Reuters)


The Economist writes that in an effort to safeguard control, hardliners and ranking officials in China's Communist Party are adopting more conservative lines. Polling data from 2007 indicates that one in six party members adhere to a faith, yet China's conservative wing forbids religious affiliation for party members. Fearful that religious tolerance in the political sphere will lead to ideological separation, China continues to tighten its grip. Read More from The Economist


Debating U.S. Options in Syria

As the debate over intervention or arming the opposition grows amid continuing violence in Syria, four CFR experts offer their recommendations on how Washington should respond to the crisis. Follow Elliott Abrams, Robert Danin, Ed Husain, and Micah Zenko as they weigh in on the pros and cons of U.S. involvement in Syria. Follow the Debate »

Video Tribute: Nelson Mandela

CFR's Senior Vice President and Director of Studies Jim Lindsay celebrates the anniversary of Nelson Mandela's release from prison in the CFR Lessons Learned video series. Lindsay looks at the role the first black president of South Africa played in ending apartheid. Recounting President Mandela's shift from violent to peaceful means, Lindsay draws parallels between his fight to end apartheid and peaceful acts of resistance in the Arab world and Myanmar. Watch the Video »

Vatican Calls for Global Financial Reform

In a Foreign Affairs snapshot, Samuel Gregg, research director of the Acton Institute, comments on the Vatican's call for ethics in the global economy and its focus on capital controls that discourage international financial speculation. According to Gregg, the Church's social doctrine is grappling with how best to accommodate the growing divergence in interests between Catholics in developed nations and those in emerging economies. Visit Foreign Affairs »

Palestinian Unity Deal in a Changing Middle East

CFR Senior Fellow Robert Danin discusses the February 6 Doha Declaration, a deal between rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah, and how it will affect returning to the negotiating table with Israel. Danin posits that it will be almost impossible for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to reconcile unifying Palestinian factions with pursuing peace with Israel. Watch the Video »