Today, the very existence of Christians in some parts of the Middle East is threatened. During this panel discussion on September 3, 2014, Georgetown University Professor Tom Farr examined U.S. policy with respect to religious freedom in general and Christian minorities in the Middle East in particular. Andrew Doran, Executive Director of In Defense of Christians, and filmmaker Jordan Allott described their experiences on the ground in Syria and Iraq earlier this year.
Thomas F. Farr
Director, Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs (Georgetown University)
Thomas F. Farr is director of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and a visiting associate professor of religion and international affairs at Georgetown’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. A former American diplomat and leading authority on international religious freedom, Farr has published widely, including “Diplomacy in an Age of Faith” in Foreign Affairs(March/April 2008), and World of Faith and Freedom: Why International Religious Liberty is Vital to American National Security (Oxford University Press, 2008). Farr received his B.A. in history from Mercer University, and his Ph.D. in modern British and European history from the University of North Carolina.
Executive Director, In Defense of Christians
Mr. Doran served on the executive secretariat of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO at the U.S. Department of State. He has worked as a business and management consultant for the U.S. Department of State. He writes variously about U.S. foreign policy, with a particular focus on the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, where he has traveled widely. He has met with Senators, Hill staffers, non-governmental organizations, human rights activists from across the North America, Europe, and the Middle East to advocate for the rights of religious minorities, especially the ancient Christian communities of Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria. He is an attorney and armed forces veteran, and lives in metropolitan Washington, D.C.
Senior Advisor, In Defense of Christians
In Defense of Christians (IDC)
In Defense of Christians (IDC) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization whose mission is to heighten awareness among policymakers and the general public of the existence of ancient and often persecuted minority communities in the Middle East, particularly Christians. IDC will also conduct policy advocacy for vulnerable Christians and other religious minorities. Through greater awareness and advocacy, IDC hopes to influence the U.S. and foreign governments to adopt policies that will safeguard and empower minority religious communities in the Middle East, especially those vulnerable to violence, marginalization, and persecution.