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Published:June 4th, 2011 07:57 EST
Fight for Religious Freedom Around the World

Fight for Religious Freedom Around the World

By SOP newswire2

The oppression of religion around the world and U.S. policy to address challenges to this basic human right was the focus of a hearing held by Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04), chairman of the House congressional panel that oversees international human rights. 

"Prioritizing International Religious Freedom in U.S. Foreign Policy," is the title of the hearing, featured expert testimony on the global challenges to freedom of religion before the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, and Human Rights which Smith chairs. 

"The basic human rights of hundreds of millions of people are being violated," Smith said. "Their own governments are either direct perpetrators of religious freedom violations or fail to prosecute violations by other citizens, creating a climate of impunity." To read Chairman Smith`s opening remarks click here. Or click here to view a June 2 statement Smith made before the full Foreign Affairs Committee.

 The hearing also focused on the International Religious Freedom Act authored by Rep. Frank Wolf (VA-10) and cosponsored by Smith, and signed in law by President Clinton in 1998. A new bill, H.R. 1856, also authored by Wolf and co-sponsored by Smith to amend the act, was discussed. To read Rep. Wolf`s remarks click here.

Testifying before Smith`s subcommittee was Leonard Leo, Chairman U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom; Thomas Farr, Director, Religious Freedom Project, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University; Brian Grim, Senior Researcher and Director of Cross-National Data, Forum on Religion & Public Life, Pew Research Center, and; Joseph Grieboski, Founder and Chairman of the Board of the Institute on Religion and Public Policy.           


SOURCE: Christian Newswire