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Chairman Risch Statement on State Department's 2019 International Religious Freedom Report

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement in response to the State Department’s annual International Religious Freedom Report:

“The State Department’s release of the 2019 Report on International Religious Freedom reminds us that as Americans, we are fortunate to live in a country where we can worship freely. Unfortunately, this report shows us that there is no shortage of countries that continue to deny their citizens the basic right of freedom of religion.  

“One of the most egregious cases is China, where the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) targets all religions. From destroying Christian houses of worship, to imprisoning millions of Uyghur Muslims, the CCP goes to great lengths to silence religious groups. The CCP is also seeking to interfere in the succession of the next Dalai Lama, which would undermine the religious freedoms of Buddhist practitioners around the world.  

“This report serves as a reminder that until all people can enjoy the freedom of religion, the United States will always demand better. We will continue to advocate for freedom of religion around the world. I want to thank Secretary Pompeo, Ambassador Brownback, and their team for their work on this important report.”