Russell Moore

Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, gives a report during the 2019 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting June 12 in Birmingham, Ala.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Russell Moore has been announced as the recipient of The Religious Freedom Institute’s 2020 Defender of Religious Freedom Award. He is being awarded for his work to defend religious liberty for all people of faith. Moore is president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

The nonprofit, non-partisan organization gives the award each year to a person who “defends religious freedom for everyone, everywhere from within his or her faith tradition.” He receives the award on the occasion of the RFI Annual Dinner. 

“Dr. Moore is a brilliant, winsome and tireless advocate for religious liberty. Whether making his case from the pulpit, or in the pages of The New York Times, Dr. Moore finds a way to speak so others can listen,” said Thomas Farr, president of RFI.

“Baptists played a major role in the Founders’ determination to guarantee the free exercise of religion for every American and every American religious community,” said Farr. “Moore represents the best of that tradition. Reaching deep into the treasury of Scripture, he demands ‘soul freedom’ for each of us. Freedom so we might seek the truth, unhindered by government or any human agent. Moore is a Christian American whose life’s work benefits all Americans. We are privileged to recognize, in this public way, his momentous contributions to our nation through his courageous defense of America’s First Freedom.”

This year’s award will be given during a virtual ceremony on Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. EST. Robert P. George, McCormick professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University, will present the award to Moore. George is the former chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

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