HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > International Religious Freedom Bill Clears Senate

International Religious Freedom Bill Clears Senate

A bill NRB has supported for several years has been approved unanimously by the U.S. Senate.  The Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act (S.653), introduced by Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Carl Levin (D-MI), would create a special envoy at the State Department focusing specifically on the situations facing religious minorities in those regions of the globe.

Upon the bill’s passage, Senator Blunt stated, “As we continue to witness disturbing violence against religious minorities around the world, I’m pleased the Senate passed this bipartisan bill to show the U.S. takes religious freedom very seriously.” Similarly, Senator Levin, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said, “Such violence is a threat to regional stability in a part of the world where U.S. interests are great. Moreover, our support for these universal human values affirms the principles upon which our own nation was founded.”

Earlier this year, Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, noted in a release, “Persecution against Christians is real. Leaders in the United States must be a voice against such violence and intimidation inflicted on our Christian brothers and sisters, and indeed any religious minority, in the Middle East and around the world.”

Companion legislation (H.R. 301), sponsored by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), passed in the House of Representatives last year, and now minor differences between the bills must be worked out before it is sent to the President for his signature. Earlier this year, the NRB Board of Directors unanimously adopted a Resolution urging the Obama Administration “to actively advocate to the international community the principles of the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution” and calling for final passage of this legislation.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: July 18, 2014

Latest News

NRB Calls for Defunding Planned Parenthood

As undercover videos have revealed key Planned Parenthood officials describing and negotiating the sale of aborted babies’ body parts, anger and scrutiny are increasing against the nation’s largest abortion organization.

Key Senator Expresses Concern with Supreme Court

Reflecting on the most recent Supreme Court term, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) this week said that the Court had a “very liberal bent this last term” and “more worrisome...

LPTV Highlighted at House Hearing

In a hearing featuring FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, low power television (LPTV) received significant attention, particularly from Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR)...

Poll Explores Sentiment on Race Relations

A recent New York Times/CBS News poll showed that Americans generally have a negative impression of the state of race relations, noteworthy after tragedies around the nation, including at a church in Charleston, South Carolina.

Nominate Your Organization for a 2016 NRB Media Award!

NRB is currently accepting nominations for the 2016 Annual Media Awards and will be doing so until August 14, 2015. A long-standing hallmark of NRB, the awards program remains one of the association’s most valued traditions.

Life Without Limbs Celebrates 10th Anniversary, Launches ‘Stand Strong’

Life Without Limbs, the international non-profit ministry of speaker, author, and evangelist Nick Vujicic, recently marked its 10th anniversary and launched a new campaign in celebration.

Want to Make an Impact in DC? Join the NRB President’s Council

From among its membership, NRB has been building up a select group of strategic partners who wish to bolster the work of the association through additional commitments of time, support, and financial resources.

NRB Members: Highlight Your Organization in NRB Today – for Free!

We are soliciting descriptions about NRB members to feature in our weekly e-newsletter, NRB Today, and on the NRB.org website.

Senate Funders Take Aim at Agencies

Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee this week advanced legislation with provisions to restrict several agencies, particularly the FCC and the IRS.

Justice Alito Gives Insight into the Supreme Court

In a lengthy interview with Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito provided insight into the high court’s procedures, commentary on recent cases, and some thoughts on baseball.

More News