Engaging Religious Communities Abroad: A New Imperative for U.S. Foreign Policy

The Chicago Council released its task force report, Engaging Religious Communities Abroad: A New Imperative for U.S. Foreign Policy, on February 23, 2010, in Washington D.C. at Georgetown University. Religious communities are central players in the counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan, development assistance, the promotion of human rights, stewardship of the environment, and the pursuit of peace in troubled parts of the world. The success of American diplomacy in the next decade will be measured in no small part by its ability to connect with the hundreds of millions of people throughout the world whose identity is defined by religion.

President Obama’s historic speech in Cairo on June 4, 2009, with its promise to engage with Muslim communities, was an important step in the right direction. The Chicago Council convened a task force of thirty-two experts and stakeholders – former government officials, religious leaders, heads of international organizations, and scholars – to bring a diverse perspective to the debate over how to successfully engage religion on an international level. This report takes the next step in developing a strategy to engage religious communities of all faiths in addressing foreign policy challenges.

Generous support from the Henry Luce Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York made this task force possible. 


R. Scott Appleby, director, Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame

Richard Cizik, president, New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good

Religion and U.S. Foreign Policy Task Force Report Cover

Full Report (PDF)

Executive Summary (PDF)

List of All Members (PDF)

Members' Bios (PDF)

Video of Release Event

For additional online resources related to the report and to religion and U.S. foreign policy, visit Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs.
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