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International religious freedom bill hopes to fight terrorism, promote security


MATT HADRO

Source:
CNA
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
4/19/2015

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ABSTRACTInternational religious freedom bill hopes to fight terrorism, promote security :: Catholic News Agency (CNA) Editors Service About us Donate Italian Spanish Portuguese Loading News Headlines Vatican Americas Asia - Pacific US Europe Middle East - Africa Most Read Most Commented Archive Mandate Resources Abortion Advent Apologetics Benedict XVI Bible Cardinals Catechism Catholic Links Catholic Womanhood Church Fathers Holy Week Life & Family Liturgical Calendar Liturgy Mary Politics Pope Francis Prayers Sacraments Saints Virtue Tools Catholic Podcast RSS Feeds CNA TV CNA Audio Columns Bishops' Corner Book Reviews Cinemazlowski Fr. Robert Barron Guest Columnist In Good Company Led Into the Truth Live Greater Movie Reviews Russell Shaw The Dispute of the Humanum The New (& the Old) Evangelization The Way of Beauty Viewpoint Documents Pope Benedict XVI Pope John Paul II Pope Paul VI Pope John XXIII Pope Pius XII Pope Pius XI Pope Pius X Pope Leo XIII Vatican II Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith Pontifical Council for the Family United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Cardinal James Francis Stafford Archbishop Charles J. Chaput Bishop Samuel J. Aquila Mama Needs Coffee CNA Blog Home » News » US International religious freedom bill hopes to fight terrorism, promote security Capitol at Sunset. Credit: vgm8383 via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0). Follow By Matt Hadro Washington D.C., Apr 19, 2015 / 04:45 pm ( CNA/EWTN News ) .- A bill boosting promotion of religious freedom abroad could deter terror groups like ISIS, protect vulnerable minorities and foster global security, advocates say. The bill is “an important first step in improving the ability of our nation to advance religious freedom globally,” stated Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, chair of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, in an April 10 letter to Congress. “The increase in violence perpetrated against religious minorities has reached staggering proportions,” he warned. The Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Act of 2015 passed the House Subcommittee for Global Human Rights on Thursday and adds to the existing International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. It mandates education and training for ambassadors and foreign service officers – all the way down to the entry-level – to promote religious freedom abroad. The bill also creates an interagency committee chaired by the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom – currently Rabbi David Saperstein – that would develop a global strategy for promoting religious freedom. The power to sanction individuals for egregious abuses of religious freedom is also granted to the president under the proposed legislation. “The bill we passed 15 years ago needs to be updated to match the new challenges of the 21st century,” stated Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), who authored the legislation. “A robust religious freedom diplomacy is necessary to advance our nation’s interest in the stability, security, and economic development of countries we engage with around the globe.” He cited global threats to religious freedom – from the bloody terrorism of the Islamic State, al Shabbab, and Boko Haram to the rising anti-Semitism in E.......