Freedom of religion

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.

Critics line up against expected executive order on religious liberty

As President Trump readies a much-anticipated executive order on religious liberty, critics are lined up to take action before he even signs it.

Legal and religious experts say that the rights of women, LGBT people and religious minorities will be threatened by the new order but their fears are based on a draft of the order leaked earlier this year. Trump reportedly will sign an order as soon as May 4, which is the National Day of Prayer.

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.

Constitutionality of leaked executive order on religious freedom called into question

The former U.S. religious freedom ambassador told a congressional subcommittee that leaked language of a proposed presidential executive order on religious liberty could cause "constitutional problems."

“I think it raises very serious equal protection issues,” said Rabbi David Saperstein, who recently ended his tenure at the U.S. State Department.

Empower women by standing for religious freedom

Human Rights Day: Two members of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom write, "we stand for the inalienable human right, affirmed in Article 18 of the declaration, of these prisoners, and indeed all people, to freedom of conscience and religion. And we invite others in the human rights community to stand with us, join with us and call for their release."

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In This Issue

May 19-June 1, 2017

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