WASHINGTON D.C. (KAMR/KCIT) — Various U.S. Senators, including James Lankford, R-OK, Dick Durbin, D-IL, Marco Rubio, R-FL and Chris Coons, D-DE, recently introduced the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2022. The bill later unanimously passed the U.S. Senate and now moves to the U.S. House of Representatives.
According to a news release from Lankford’s office, the act reauthorizes the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, a commission created through the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, through fiscal year 2024.
“I applaud the Senate’s action to reauthorize the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, which is a vital part of our nation’s work to share our core value of religious freedom across the world. The Commission conducts crucial research and provides vital information on the status of religious liberty worldwide so we can ensure that religious freedom is protected and promoted for people of faith around the world,” Lankford said in the release. “The right to choose your faith, practice your faith, change your faith, or have no faith at all is a fundamental human right of all people everywhere. We must continue to shine a light on those who do not protect the unalienable human right of religious freedom for all people. I encourage the House to swiftly take up this reauthorization to ensure that USCIRF is able to continue its invaluable work.”
The commissioners are appointed by Congressional party leaders as well as the President, the release said. The commission issues an annual report, highlighting countries they are concerned with that are engaging in “severe religious freedom violations, documents the conditions of religious freedom in many countries and provides policy recommendations.”
“Religious freedom whether it is practicing your own faith or no faith at all ought to be protected in every corner of the globe,” Coons said in the release. “I am glad to see the Senate reauthorize the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and help safeguard the ability of people around the world to worship safely and freely.”