Miami, Florida – Today, Dr. James C. Wallace of LACUNA Group International attended an invitation only conference of close to 100 attendees including US Military commanders from SOUTHCOM, NORTHCOM/NORAD, CENTCOM, AFRICOM, EUCOM, US Special Operations Command, and the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Symposium, “Religion Matters II”, was focused on the role of religion as a “factor for analysis” in US military combat operations.
Themes of the event included the power and place of religion as a factor for healing and reconciliation, how religion is good for business, and how religion must be integrated as a factor in strategic and operational planning for the military.
The two keynote speakers were Brian Grimm, President of the Religious Freedom and Business Foundation, who spoke on the socio-economic impact of restrictions on religious freedom and international religious demography, and Knox Thames, Director of Policy and Research for the US Commission on Religious Freedom (USCIRF) who spoke on the US foreign policy approach to religious freedom issues.
Other attendees at the Symposium included representatives from the US National Guard, NGOs, senior Miami religious leaders, as well as military representatives from Brazil, Paraguay, Panama, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
Only four academics were invited to the event – from Boston University, National Defense University in Washington, DC, Notre Dame, and the Florida International University.
Next year, the annual Religion Matters conference will be sponsored by the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the theme of “Religion Matters III” will be “Religious Affairs and the First Amendment – History and Mystery.” At that conference, Wallace will be one of two key note speakers.
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