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Senator Dick Durbin: Don’t Allow the Religious Freedom Commission’s Demise!
For 13 years, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has shined light on situations of egregious religious persecution globally. With a mandate from the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, USCIRF has provided forthright policy recommendations to the President, State Department, and Congress on responding to regimes that persecute actively or tolerate the persecution of religious believers. But if Congress does not act to reauthorize its funding soon, USCIRF will cease to exist.
Our recent article reveals that although in October the U.S. House of Representatives passed overwhelmingly legislation to reauthorize USCIRF, when the bill was sent to the Senate, where it was expected to pass under unanimous consent, “a single senator anonymously called it back for undisclosed reasons.” A recent report in the CQ Weekly exposed Senate Majority Whip Richard “Dick” Durbin (R-IL) as the one blockage to USCIRF’s reauthorization.
Thanks to congressional efforts to postpone the commission’s sunsetting, the reauthorization now has a 4-week reprieve. This means that citizens concerned about the persecuted Church and other religious believers have until December 16 to rescue USCIRF.
Please sign our petition to stop blocking the reauthorization of USCIRF, addressed to the Senate Leadership: Majority Leader Harry Reid, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and the aforementioned Democratic Whip Richard Durbin.
We have provided 3 options to let your voice be heard:
(You may know that hand-signed faxes to congressional offices receive more attention than electronic communications, however.)
*We don’t recommend mailing the petition. Since the 2001 anthrax attack, there has been a three-week delay on all delivered mail. Time is of the essence now.
The Institute on Religion & Democracy
1023 15th Street NW, Suite 601, Washington, DC 20005-2601
P: (202) 682-4131 F: (202) 682-4136