My forthcoming book, ENDING PERSECUTION, will be published in Summer 2024 by University of Notre Dame Press. (Announcement here)
A pandemic is sweeping the world, but not just COVID; a pandemic of persecution is impacting every faith community globally. ENDING PERSECUTION will expose the reality of religious repression while arguing for a new response to fight for freedom of conscience for everyone to ensure 21st-century persecution does not bleed into the 22nd-century. My driving belief is that every person has a fundamental right to follow their conscience wherever it leads. Human flourishing will more quickly come when everyone everywhere can believe (or not believe) as they choose. Unfortunately, we have failed to learn the painful lessons of the Holocaust, the ultimate crime against humanity. Repression continues. People still suffer on account of individual beliefs and instability results. The United States needs to revitalize its approach and recommit to ending oppression because of religion or belief.
ENDING PERSECUTION will be accessible in tone, taking readers on a tour of some of the world's most repressive countries in the Middle East and Asia. Over my career working for Congress and the U.S. Department of State and three different administrations, I traveled the world to press repressive governments to reform. I and others endeavored to leverage U.S. influence to speak up for the oppressed and persecuted, doing what we could to reflect the best of American values of diversity, minority rights, and freedom of conscience. Special offices and ambassadors were created and appointed, money appropriated, and summits convened. Yet, these efforts have not changed grim statistics demonstrating unrelenting restrictions on the free practice of faith. ENDING PERSECUTION will offer new ideas and solutions to meet the challenge of ending persecution.
Charting the Path to Global Religious Freedom
Endorsements for ENDING PERSECUTION
Mary Ann Glendon
Learned Hand Professor of Law, Harvard University
Defenders of religious freedom everywhere will welcome Knox Thames’ analysis of the many faces of persecution, his inspiring call to action, and most of all his practical, feasible suggestions for deterring and combatting the worst violations of human dignity. The author’s wealth of experience and passion for his subject illuminate every page.
Simran Jeet Singh
Executive Director, Aspen Institute Religion & Society Program
'Ending Persecution' offers invaluable insights into the complex issue of persecution, shedding light on its various dimensions and potential resolutions. A must-read for those seeking a deeper understanding of this critical global challenge.
Lord David Alton
Drawing on his significant experience in promoting international religious freedom, Knox Thames is perfectly placed to introduce us to some of the persecuted millions of people who daily pay a great price for a freedom we too often take for granted - and he spells out some of the initiatives we can take to end the persecution. Essential reading for all who value liberty, freedom, and human rights.