Saturday, September 19, 2015

Reauthorize the International Religious Freedom Act

           It is again time for the United States Congress to re-authorize the International Religious Freedom Act, as the act expires otherwise by the end of this month. 

            The International Religious Freedom Act was approved with overwhelming bipartisan support by Congress and signed into law by liberal Democratic President William Jefferson Clinton.  Its purpose is to demonstrate the priority within American foreign policy of supporting religious liberty, as the freedom of religion is fundamental to overall liberty.  American advocacy for religious freedom and the measures the International Religious Freedom Commission recommends against states that violate religious liberty act as a deterrent oppression by foreign governments based upon religious beliefs.  Spreading liberty abroad is in the interest of the U.S., not only because it is morally right, but because states that are free are generally more peaceful and prosperous. 

I have posted over the last few years in support of the previous reauthorization of the International Religious Freedom Act and how the liberal Democratic Obama Administration has not made adequate use of it by leaving key diplomatic posts the law creates unfilled for lengthy periods or by not sufficiently following the recommendations of the International Religious Freedom Commission it established.  See my post from June of this year, Update: The Obama Administration’s Continued Weakness in Promoting Religious Liberty Abroad   President Barack Obama did subsequently nominate an ambassador recently for religious freedom for the Middle East and South Central Asia.   

Congress should reauthorize the International Religious Freedom Act and the President should sign it into law as soon as possible to emphasize American commitment to religious freedom, especially at this time of great religious persecution, particularly in the Middle East.

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