International Religious Freedom

Oct 30, 2018

Liberty Counsel Director of Public Policy Jonathan Alexandre and Executive Director of D.C. Ministry Peggy Nienaber met with U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback today, as the United States celebrates the 20th anniversary of the International Religious Freedom Act this week. 

Twenty years ago, on October 27, 1998, the International Religious Freedom Act was signed into law. The International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 was bipartisan legislation to promote religious freedom as a foreign policy of the United States, to promote greater religious freedom in countries which engage in or tolerate violations of religious freedom, and to advocate on the behalf of individuals persecuted for their religious beliefs and activities in foreign countries.

In 2016, Congress voted unanimously to pass the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act, an amendment to the 1998 law. The amendment, named after one of Congress’s most vocal champions of religious liberty, improves U.S. religious freedom diplomacy efforts globally, better trains and equips diplomats to counter extremism, addresses anti-Semitism and religious persecution, and mitigates sectarian conflict. 

Ambassador Brownback said that all nations should embrace religious freedom as it had been proven that this has the potential to bring about prosperity and more secure societies. He also stressed that the Trump administration is doing things differently from the previous administration, as evident in the first-ever International Religious Freedom Ministerial held last July. Ambassador Brownback stated the ministerial was “the launch of an expanded conversation” about the fundamental right of all individuals to do with their own souls whatever they choose. Liberty Counsel hosted a prayer breakfast which kicked off this historic event.

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