The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) will have some new faces on it in the days ahead. This week Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appointed Family Research Council president Tony Perkins to the panel, which was established by the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) as an independent government watchdog. Former Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), author of IRFA and a longtime human rights champion, called this a “fantastic appointment,” and said, “I fully believe he will advocate vigorously for those of all faiths as a matter of international religious freedom.” Moreover, Meriam Ibraheem, who spent six months in a prison in Sudan because she refused to renounce Christ and was recognized for her stalwart faith with the NRB President’s Award in 2015, said, “I want to thank Tony Perkins for all of his efforts on my behalf and the persecuted around the world. If it wasn’t for God, Tony and those working for religious freedom, I wouldn’t be free today.”
In addition to Perkins, other new appointments have and continue to be made to the bipartisan commission. Recently, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) appointed Gayle Conelly Manchin, wife of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.); House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) re-appointed Dr. Tenzin Dorjee, an associate professor at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF); and the White House has announced President Donald Trump’s intention to appoint Gary Bauer, president of American Values, Nadine Maenza, executive director of Patriot Voices, and Johnnie Moore, president of the KAIROS Company.
Learn more about USCIRF at www.uscirf.gov.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: May 18, 2018