One of the most important initiatives to promote worldwide religious freedom that we have seen was recently introduced in Congress and we need your help to get it passed! HR 1856 does two main things:
Firstly, this bill reauthorizes the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for seven more years. Why is USCIRF important? USCIRF monitors the state of religious freedom worldwide and makes independent policy recommendations about the worst violators to the President, the Secretary of State, and the Congress. The only such government commission of its kind in the world, it publishes valuable annual reports and provides accountability to the State Department to ensure it is accurately reporting on religious freedom violations and using all the tools at the disposal of the United States government to promote religious freedom.
Secondly, HR 1856 amends the 1998 Intl. Religious Freedom Act which made IRF an official part of US foreign policy. There are a number of problems with the way the original 1998 IRFA was implemented, and this new bill addresses some of those key weaknesses. For example, IRF Ambassador Dr. Johnson Cook currently works under the Assistant Secretary for Democracy Human Rights and Labor in the State Department, and HR 1856 would change that so that the IRF Ambassador would report directly to the Secretary of State like other Ambassadors do. This is just one example of how HR 1856 would help to make religious freedom a priority within the State Department. View summary description of all these key changes>>
All of these changes are critical to improving the way the US government promotes international religious freedom and helps us achieve our goal of serving persecuted Christians. Please take a moment using our automated system to send a message to your U.S. Representative asking him/her to co-sponsor HR 1856 and to vote for its passage when the time comes.