Why Does the U.S. Religious Freedom Panel Exists

(Photo courtesy of US Commission on International Religious Freedom)

In the run-up to the holiday break, with very little fanfare, President Donald Trump signed reauthorization for the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

It means that for the next three years, lawmakers decided to disburse over $3.5 million annually to keep the USCIRF operating until Sept. 30, 2022. They attached the bill to the 2020 omnibus spending package.  

Mixing politics and religion?

Despite bitter partisan politics, enmity, and political fights, Isaac Six, Director of Advocacy at Open Doors USA, says, “USCIRF being reauthorized (the US Commission on International Religious Freedom) is good news from our perspective. We pushed for the Commission to be reauthorized, and we worked with Senate authorizers on that bill.”

Now 21 years old, the International Religious Freedom Act creates an independent, bipartisan volunteer commission responsible for monitoring religious freedom and persecution conditions worldwide. They then make recommendations to the White House, State Department, and Congress. Tony Perkins, USCIRF Chair said:

“We’re grateful for the strong bipartisan support USCIRF received from Congress, especially from the offices of Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), James Risch (R-ID), Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Dick Durbin (D-IL), who were committed to hammering out a consensus bill that enhances USCIRF’s credibility and ensures the continuance of our important workAt a time when freedom of religion is under assault worldwide, it’s encouraging that we all value the fundamental human right of allowing everyone, everywhere, to follow his or her conscience.

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, R.B. Klama

CALL TO ACTION

  • Ask God to strengthen and embolden Christians under extreme pressure.
  • Ask God to grant wisdom to those fighting for religious freedoms.
  • Pray for change opportunities in the political and spiritual realms.