As director of the Religious Liberty Program at the Institute on Religion and Democracy in Washington, DC, Faith McDonnell works to inform and motivate US church members, about the persecution of Christians around the world.
Faith directs the Church Alliance for a New Sudan, a project of IRD’s Religious Liberty Program, to mobilize churches for advocacy and action against the genocide in Sudan and to encourage and support the churches in Sudan as well as Sudanese churches across the United States. She was a co-founder of the Sudan Coalition in Washington, DC that worked to mobilize U.S. churches, as well as student groups and others to fight against slavery and genocide in Southern Sudan and the Nuba Mountains. The coalition influenced U.S. policy on Sudan and with the election of President George W. Bush was able to make progress that had before been unheard of, including the changes in food aid distribution, coordination of aid for Sudan across a number of different government entities, the appointment of a Sudan Special Envoy, and the coordination of the peace process.
She is a board member or advisor with groups, including Jubilee Campaign USA, the North Korea Freedom Coalition, China Aid’s Religion Law Monitor, Voices for Sudan, and Sudan Sunrise, as well as a charter member of the Nigeria Task Force and Act for Sudan.
Faith has helped organize rallies and protests in front of the White House, the Canadian Embassy, and the Sudanese Embassy, and has drafted legislation on religious persecution for both houses of the United States Congress and for the Episcopal Church. She also was part of the initial task force that helped pass the laws to protect victims of international sex trafficking.
Together with former LRA abductee Grace Akallo, Faith wrote the book Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope for Northern Uganda’s Children (Published 2007, Chosen Books). She has been published in National Review, The Weekly Standard, World Magazine, Prism, American Spectator, Front Page Magazine, the New Sudan Christian newspaper, Breitbart’s Big Peace, Pajamas Media, Christianity Today, and elsewhere, as well as writing for the IRD’s Faith and Freedom and Anglican Action Briefing. She also is a contributing author to Sorrow & Blood: Christian Mission in Contexts of Suffering, Persecution, and Martyrdom (Published 2012, Editors: William D. Taylor, Antonia van der Meer, and Reg Reimer, William Carey Library of U.S. Center for World Mission). She attended Eastern Nazarene College in Massachusetts, and received her master’s degree in English at the University of Maryland. She was married to Francis McDonnell until his death this year, and has a daughter, Fiona.