Kerry links religion, foreign policy at Rice University lecture

More than 650 people attended John Kerry's speech at Rice. | Contributed photo

Secretary of State John Kerry recently addressed students in Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, speaking on the link between religion and foreign policy.

“We cannot understand the world if we fail to comprehend and honor the central role that religion plays in the lives of billions of people,” said Kerry, speaking as part of the Baker Institute’s Shell Distinguished Lecture Series.

The Secretary of State delivered a 45-minute address that covered various efforts his department has made under his tenure, including establishing the State Department’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs, holding workshops on corruption with religious leaders in Nigeria, and meeting with Islamic leaders to discuss refugee relief and human rights. 

His speech was followed by a short question-and-answer session. More than 650 Rice students, faculty members and staff members, as well as members of the Baker Institute Roundtable, attended the entire event.

“My basic argument is straightforward,” Kerry said. “The more we understand religion, the better we are able to engage religion, the more effective our diplomacy will be…We don’t make contacts for the sake of having interesting conversations; we do so to make progress on our foreign policy and security goals, to make America safer.”

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