International Religious Freedom Act Heads to the President

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ — The U.S. House of Representatives passed and sent to the President’s desk the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act (H.R. 1150) yesterday. 

The bipartisan bill, authored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and co-sponsored by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), will give the Administration and the State Department new tools, resources and training to help counter extremism and the growing persecution of religious minorities globally.

The act seems to give the U.S. government ways to take worldwide religious freedom seriously…or not, depending on the way the winds blow:

  • Creates a “Designated Persons List” for individuals who commit egregious violations of religious freedom
     
  • Creates a comprehensive religious prisoners list—persons who are detained, imprisoned, tortured and subject to forced remission of faith.
     
  • Integrates religious freedom into every aspect of U.S. foreign policy
     
  • Strengthens the Special Advisor for religious freedom at the National Security Council
     
  • Requires international religious freedom training for all Foreign Service Officers
     
  • Requires that the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom report directly to the Secretary of State

There’s more.

When ISIS stops walking people out to be butchered, when churches in the middle east stop blowing up, and when carrying a Bible in Saudi Arabia is okay, then I’ll be encouraged.

UPDATE:

 12/14/2016 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) – International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Andrew Brunson, a Christian leader of a Protestant church in Izmir, Turkey, was imprisoned by Turkish officials on Friday after 63 days of detention. While details remain scarce, ICC sources say that Andrew has now been transferred from the Harmandali Detention Center to the Sakran 3 Nolu T Tipi Prison near Izmir, despite quiet efforts by the US State Department and Members of Congress to negotiate his release over the past several weeks.

 
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International Religious Freedom Act Heads to the President

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