March 2017

Religion and Foreign Policy Bulletin

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Climate Change, Religion in China, and Spotlight on Sub-Saharan Africa

MIKE HUTCHINGS/REUTERS

MIKE HUTCHINGS/REUTERS

This month’s Religion and Foreign Policy Bulletin turns its attention to CFR analysis and commentary on climate change policy, the rise of religion in China, and sub-Saharan Africa.

 

Peacemaker in Action Award

Nominations are open for Tanenbaum’s Peacemaker in Action Award. The award recognizes individuals guided by religious motivation to pursue peace at the local level. The recipient of the award will receive $15,000 and public recognition for their work. Deadline: April 14. Find out more.

 

CLIMATE CHANGE

Arctic Imperatives: Reinforcing U.S. Strategy on America’s Fourth Coast
 
NASA NASA/REUTERS  

NASA NASA/REUTERS

 

With the Arctic warming at twice the rate as the rest of the planet, melting sea ice is opening up the resource-rich region to new trade routes and commercial activities, creating opportunities and challenges for the United States and other countries. Review the Task Force report »

 
Water Access is a Gender Equality Issue
 

Anne Connell, assistant director of CFR’s Women and Foreign Policy program, explains that as the heaviest water collection burden falls on women and girls, efforts geared toward improving the management of the world’s resources and extending access to safe water should capitalize on the central roles women already play. Read more »

 
The Problem With Climate Catastrophizing: The Case for Calm
 

In this ForeignAffairs.com article, Oren Cass of the Manhattan Institute argues that the alternative to catastrophism is not complacency, but pragmatism. If the damage from climate damage can be managed, research and investment in smart responses is the path to follow. Read more »

 

The Role of Religious Environmentalism

Listen to Mary Evelyn Tucker of Yale University’s Forum on Religion and Ecology discuss the role of faith-based organizations in global efforts to address climate change.

 

THE RISE OF RELIGION IN CHINA

The Vatican and China Reach a Promising Accord: The Deal Will Unify a Fractured Catholic Community
 

Victor Gaetan of the National Catholic Register writes that the recent accord between Beijing and Rome works to unify a fractured Catholic community, bringing millions of “underground” Chinese Catholics into submission while giving local bishops and state authorities the power to recommend episcopal candidates. Read more »

 
China’s Great Awakening: How the People’s Republic Got Religion
 
KIM KYUNG HOON/REUTERS  

KIM KYUNG HOON/REUTERS

 

“It is hardly an exaggeration to say that China is undergoing a spiritual revival similar to the Great Awakening that took place in the United States in the nineteenth century,” asserts author Ian Johnson. A search for deeper meaning is no longer just a salve for the marginalized, but a pursuit of those who have benefited the most from their country’s economic rise. Read more from Foreign Affairs »

 
CFR Backgrounder on Religion in China
 

With China’s economic boom and rapid modernization, experts see the emergence of a spiritual vacuum triggering a growing number of religious believers. Though China’s constitution explicitly allows “freedom of religious belief,” adherents across all religious organizations still face persecution and repression. Explore the Backgrounder »

 

SPOTLIGHT ON SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

How Conflict Drives Hunger in Africa, Yemen
 

World Food Program Chief Economist Arif Husain explains that in order to bring lasting solutions to the food crises affecting millions of people in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen, the violent conflicts in those countries must be resolved. Read the interview »

 
Ending South Sudan’s Civil War
 
SIEGFRIED MODOLA/REUTERS  

SIEGFRIED MODOLA/REUTERS

 

Katherine Almquist Knopf of National Defense University’s Africa Center for Strategic Studies discusses the ongoing violence in South Sudan and policy options for ending the civil war, as part of CFR’s Religion and Foreign Policy Conference Call series. Listen to the conversation »

 
Where Beijing, Washington, and African Governments Can Work Together: From Competition to Cooperation
 

Chinese, Americans, and Africans agree on the importance of supporting economic growth and development, combating disease, and fighting violent extremism. Cooperation on these issues can help create a more stable, more prosperous continent—to the benefit of the countries involved, their relationships, and the rest of the world. Read more on ForeignAffairs.com »

 

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, contact CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Initiative at 212.434.9678 or outreach@cfr.org.

ABOUT THE RELIGION AND FOREIGN POLICY PORTAL ON CFR.ORG

CFR's Religion and Foreign Policy Portal, www.cfr.org/religion, 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.