Academics

  1. Academics should conduct even-handed, objective research that documents precisely the state of religious freedom in a given country or area. Persecuted communities are helped best by clear, objective exposure of governmental and societal mistreatment of religious believers. 
  2. Academics should influence government policy institutes and think tanks to promote religious freedom globally. 
  3. Christian theologians should continue to articulate a theology of persecution and adapt it to present-day circumstances. 
  4. Academic theology should draw connections between the persecution of Christians and relevant topics in exegesis, dogmatics, ethics, church history, practical theology, and missiology. 
  5. Theologians and scholars of religion should incorporate issues raised by persecution in their research and teaching on ethics: justification for and proper application of self-defense, the theological warrant for nonviolent responses, and the right to change one’s religion. 
  6. Scholars ought to continue writing new and accurate histories of persecution, honest about the Christian church’s own history of inflicting persecution but also about black legends, distortions, and exaggerated histories. They ought to expose the danger of the extinction of ancient Christian traditions in parts of the Middle East. 
  7. Social scientists ought to pursue research into particular contexts of persecution as well as comparative research into the causes and conditions for persecution. Well-documented social science research into persecution increases the trust of media and politicians and is taken seriously by the secular world. Reports including the use of rankings are especially effective. 
  8. The academic fields of jurisprudence, political science, international relations, and peace studies ought to include religious freedom issues in their research