Department of State

State Department implements Trump's reinstated 'Mexico City Policy'

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Reinstatement of the "Mexico City Policy," as provided for in President Donald Trump's Jan. 23 executive memorandum, took effect May 15.

"(It) ensures that U.S. taxpayers will no longer subsidize foreign nongovernmental organizations that perform or promote abortion on demand," said the co-chair of the Congressional Pro-Life Caucus.

Trump's memorandum also expanded the policy, now called "Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance," according to Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, who is the caucus co-chair.

U.S. urged to be more vigorous in protecting religious freedom globally

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A U.S. congressman told attendees at a Washington summit on Christian persecution that "more than ever before, vigorous U.S. leadership and diplomacy are needed to address religious freedom violations globally."

"Religious persecution is festering and exploding around the world. What has been unconscionable for decades, centuries, has gotten worse," Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, said May 12 in remarks at the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians.

US commission: Russia a major violator of religious freedom

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The State Department should add Russia to its list of the worst violators of religious freedom, a U.S. commission declared in its annual report.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, founded to advise the federal government on the issue, comes out with its own list of shame each year, citing the most abusive countries in a lineup consistently longer than the State Department’s.

This year, the USCIRF report included a dissenting report from its vice chair criticizing the commission for failing to investigate Israel.

Still no sign of leader for White House faith partnership office

Since winning the election with strong support from conservative evangelical voters, President Donald Trump has invited their leaders to the White House and banned government funding for groups that support or perform abortions overseas.

But he has yet to move on one item that many of them care about.

No one has been named to direct the Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, which since 2001 has linked government with a broad range of religious groups.

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In This Issue

July 14-27, 2017

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