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

Legislators Lining Up Against Performance Tax, More Needed

Members of Congress continue to line up against any move toward a performance tax by signing their names to the Local Radio Freedom Act (H.Con.Res.17/S.Con.Res.4).

Supreme Court Sets Date for Marriage Cases

Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that on April 28 it will listen to oral arguments in four consolidated cases pivotal for the future of marriage in the United States.

FCC to Levy $325K Indecency Fine on Broadcaster

The FCC this week announced it will slap a Virginia television broadcaster with its maximum indecency penalty of $325,000 following that station’s airing of obscene material during an evening newscast.

Concern with Internet Order’s Message to World

In its unanimous Resolution last month against the FCC net neutrality order, the National Religious Broadcasters Board of Directors, a body of approximately a hundred key leaders among Christian communicators, similarly highlighted...

Senator Harry Reid to Retire in 2016

The top Democrat in the Senate, Senator Harry Reid, announced Friday morning that he will retire at the end of this session of Congress.

Saddleback Church Commemorates 35 Years of Ministry

Saddleback Church, founded by Pastor Rick and Kay Warren, celebrated 35 years of ministry influence and impact during a special community-wide service on Saturday, March 21, at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA.

In Memoriam: Dr. Arthur D. Stamler

Dr. Arthur (Art) Donald Stamler, a pioneer in broadcasting, went home to be with Jesus on Saturday, January 31, following a brief illness. He was 81.

TCKF Launches Radio Show in the Austin, San Antonio Markets

The Coming King Foundation (TCKF), led by artist Max Greiner, Jr., recently launched The Cross at Kerrville, a new radio program on KTXW 1120 in Austin, TX, and KSLR 630 in San Antonio, TX.

Video Recordings from NRB15 Convention Now Viewable on YouTube

Did you miss a session at the NRB15 International Christian Media Convention held last month in Nashville, TN?

Facebook's Troubling Hate Speech Standards

This week Facebook unveiled updated “Community Standards” intended to clarify its reasoning for what content it blocks or removes from its platform.

More News