In Advocacy, News

By International Religious Freedom Rountable

The Honorable James Risch
Chairman
Committee on Foreign Relations
United States Senate
483 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Marco Rubio
Committee on Foreign Relations
United States Senate
284 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Bob Menendez
Ranking Member
Committee on Foreign Relations
United States Senate
528 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Richard Durbin
Committee on Foreign Relations
United States Senate
711 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

CC:

The Honorable Mitch McConnell                                       The Honorable Charles E. Schumer
Majority Leader                                                                               Minority Leader
United States Senate                                                                      United States Senate
317 Russell Senate Office Building                                             322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510                                                                  Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senators,

We write as an informal group of 107 organizations and individuals who are scholars, religious and secular leaders, human rights advocates and practitioners to express our gratitude for the time and attention paid to the reauthorization of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) by you and your staff members.

From our various experiences, the Commission has played a vital role in supporting those around the world who suffer for their beliefs, conscience, or religion. Robust reporting products, advocating for prisoners of conscience, and resources such as prisoner lists are essential tools used often by civil society to advance this fundamental human right, which is a foreign policy priority of the United States as defined by Congress in the IRF Act of 1998.

Additionally, the value to a person who has been persecuted of being heard and respected by an official of the United States Government and then to have their story told in official documents cannot be overstated. It encourages them, supports recovery, and helps them become even greater advocates for those who are still harmed.

While some of the organizations and individuals who have signed have concerns about the legislation as it was introduced, we all hope that Congress will work together to find a way forward. We are encouraged that your teams continue to work together and hope that a bill will soon be passed thus ensuring the continued mission of USCIRF.

Signed:

ORGANIZATIONS

21Wilberforce

Advocates International

American Atheists

American Humanist Association

Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain

Asociacion Civil Esalcu

Atheist Alliance of America

Baha’is of the United States

Baptist World Alliance

Barzani Charity Foundation, USA

Bitter Winter

Bruderhof

Center for Inquiry

Center for Pluralism

CESNUR, Center for Studies on New Religions

China Aid Association

Church of Scientology National Affairs Office

Churches for Middle East Peace

Congress of Secular Jewish Organizations

Coptic Solidarity

Federation of Indian American Christian organizations

Free Yezidi Foundation

Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Freethought Society

General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Global Peace Foundation

Great Truth

Happy Science USA Washington Bureau

HSLDA

Indefense of Christians

Indigenous Ministries International

Indian American Muslim Council

International Buddhist Information Bureau

International Campaign for the Rohingya

International Christian Concern

International Religious Liberty Program, Institute on Religion and Democracy

IRF for Horn of Africa

Jubilee Campaign USA

LifeStyle 74 Radio (Europe) RADIO 74 INTERNATIONALE (USA)

Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers

Northwest Religious Liberty Association (NRLA)

Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, Church of the Brethren

ORLIR (International Observatory of Religious Freedom of Refugees)

REDEEM!

Religious Freedom Roundtable Seoul Korea

Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church of America

Save the Persecuted Christians

Secular Coalition for America

Sikh Dharma

Society for Humanistic Judaism

TAF – Tahrir Alnisa Foundation

The Church of Almighty God

The Council of The Ethnic Peoples and Religions of Vietnam

The Nazarene Fund

Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam

Union of Councils for Jews in the Former Soviet Union

Unitarian Universalist Humanist Association

United Pakistani American Christian Community, NY

Vietnam Committee on Human Rights

Vietnamese American Coalition

West Papua Human Rights Center

Yazda

INDIVIUALS (Organizations listed for identification purposes only)

Abdillahi Abib (President, IRF for Horn of Africa)

Ibrahim Anli (Advisor, Rumi Forum)

Delovan Barwari (Country Rep, Barzani Charity Foundation, USA)

Dwijen Bhattacharjya (Lecturer in bengali, Columbia University)

Simon Billenness (Executive Director, International Campaign for the Rohingya)

Elijah Brown (General Secretary, Baptist World Alliance)

Ann Buwalda (Executive Director, Jubilee Campaign USA)

Dr. Vinh Cam (CEO, Vietnamese American Coalition)

Jeff Chen (VP of Advocacy, Falun Dafa Association of Washington DC)

Ransom Cho (Assist Secretary, Justice for the Peoples of British Southern Cameroons unto Independence – USA)

Kyle Cristofalo (Gov Relations, Churches for Middle East Peace)

Rachel Deitch (Legislative and Social Justice Manager, American Humanist Association)

William Devlin (Director, REDEEM!)

Michael Donnelly (Senior Counsel, HSLDA)

Amal Eltayeb (Activist & Policy Economist, Sudanese American Activist.)

Penelope Faulkner (International Relations Officer, International Buddhist Information Bureau)

Zeno Gamble (Operations Manager, The Nazarene Fund)

Mike Ghouse (President, Center for Pluralism)

Gregory W. Hamilton (President, Northwest Religious Liberty Association (NRLA))

Nathan Hosler (Rev. Dr., Office of Peacebuilding and Policy, Church of the Brethren)

Johann Huleatt (Outreach Director, Bruderhof)

Pari Ibrahim (Executive Director, Free Yezidi Foundation)

Massimo Introvigne (Director, Center for Studies on New Religions)

Bettina Krause (Director, Government Affairs, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists)

Dede Laugesen (Executive Director, Save the Persecuted Christians)

Jason Lemieux (Gov Relations, Center for Inquiry)

Greg Mitchell (Chair, International Religious Freedom Roundtable)

Faith McDonnell (Director, International Religious Liberty Program, Institute on Religion and Democracy)

Scott Morgan (Red Eagle Enterprises)

Paul Murray (Vice President, Global Peace Foundation)

Ronald Myers (Founder, Journalist, LifeStyle 74 Radio (Europe) RADIO 74 INTERNATIONALE (USA))

Satoshi Nishihata (Happy Science USA Washington Bureau)

Patrice Pederson (President, First Freedom Foundation)

Matias Perttula (Director of Advocacy, International Christian Concern)

John Prabhudoss (Federation of Indian American Christian organizations)

Tariq Rehmat (President, United Pakistani American Christian Community, NY)

William Rogers (Associate Pastor, Pentecostal Church of God.)

Mariyah Sohanghpurwala (Dawat-e-Hadiyah America)

Simran Stuelpnagel (Secretary, Religious Liberty, Sikh Dharma)

Susan Taylor (National Public Affairs Director, Church of Scientology National Affairs Office)

Dr. Quoc-Hung Tran (President, Unified Buddhist Church of Vietnam)

Vo Van Ai (President, Vietnam Committee on Human Rights)

Anthony Vance (Director of Public Affairs, Baha’is of the United States)

Herman Wainggai (Executive Director, West Papua Human Rights Center)

Lily Zhang (Director of Government and Advocacy, Falun Dafa Association of Washington D.C.)

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https://wilberforce.salsalabs.org/uscirfreauth/index.html

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