Steven Howard

Steven Howard is the advocacy director for In Defense of Christians, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization advocating for the human rights of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East.

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The Biden Administration Can Capitalize on the International Religious Freedom Summit
The Biden Administration Can Capitalize on the International Religious Freedom Summit

In today’s hyperpolarized environment, Beltway commentators and even think-tank scholars seem unable to resist the temptation to put a partisan twist on the most nonpartisan of causes. While some voices have attempted to politicize the issue of international religious freedom (IRF), the cause itself continues to attract wide bipartisan support.

Government Report Signals Hope for Middle Eastern Christians - USCIRF
Government Report Signals Hope for Middle Eastern Christians

While these reports are never perfect, their existence reflects how the US government is uniquely positioned to serve as a global leader in the promotion of human rights. USCIRF’s commissioners and staff deserve commendation for producing them.

Ep. 62 | What the USCIRF’s 2021 Report Got Right and Wrong
Ep. 62 | What USCIRF’s 2021 Report Got Right and Wrong

Steven Howard, advocacy director at In Defense of Christians (IDC), speaks with Mark Melton about the 2021 annual report from the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

Egypt Must Secure Minority Rights before Celebrating Religious Freedom
Egypt Must Secure Minority Rights before Celebrating Religious Freedom

While Sisi has made some improvements, stating that Egypt has achieved some advanced level of religious freedom or pluralism is fantastical and premature.

Why Biden and Trump Must Confront Erdoğan in Their Final Presidential Debate
Biden and Trump Must Confront Erdoğan in Their Final Presidential Debate

In their final presidential debate, Donald Trump and Joe Biden should address US-Turkey relations and Erdoğan’s increasingly aggressive posture.

International Religious Freedom Should Never Be Politicized
International Religious Freedom Should Never Be Politicized

International religious freedom is not a partisan issue and should never be framed as such. Democrats and Republicans have always worked together on this issue and should continue to do so.

Are the Arab Gulf States Improving in Religious Liberty?
Are the Arab Gulf States Improving Religious Liberty?

When considering Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen many of these countries deserve commendation for participating in interfaith dialogues. However, they have made no significant progress in improving religious liberty within their borders.

How Can Christians and Muslims Improve the Middle East?

Ignoring the democracy versus pluralism dilemma fails to address the core issue facing both communities at the onset and consequently will not yield a Middle East friendlier to human rights and religious liberty. This debate is one that governments and politicians themselves cannot lead. Civil society is where this discussion must take place, and believers themselves are the ones who should lead it.

What Should Pope Francis Prioritize in His Apostolic Visit to Morocco?
What Should Pope Francis Prioritize in His Apostolic Visit to Morocco?

Prioritizing human rights with the king, going to Morocco’s marginalized religious minority population, and calling upon the Church in Morocco truly to open its doors to Moroccans would make this apostolic visit a meaningful multifaith engagement.