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Menendez Statement on State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report for 2012

Menendez Congratulates Ira Forman on Appointment to Serve as Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the statement below following the State Department’s release of their International Religious Freedom Report for 2012:

“From Pakistan where blasphemy laws are abused to settle personal scores, to Iran where minorities are persecuted particularly within the Baha’i community, to Central Asian countries where governments place growing restrictions on religious freedom in the name of national security, we as an international community must protect this fundamental human right of religious freedom.  In Cuba, peaceful human rights activists, including the Ladies in White who bravely visited me here in the U.S. Capitol are denied an opportunity to worship in religious services, harassed by their government, and yet their struggle for freedom endures. In Egypt, the ongoing political unrest has resulted in escalating violence against the Coptic Christians, and there has been little redress of grievances. A worrying and growing trend of religious intolerance is taking root around the world and we must work to reverse these troubling developments. 

I also congratulate Ira Forman on his appointment by Secretary Kerry to serve as the new Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism. With the continued rise of anti-Semitism around the world, this is a critical post and I look forward to working together on this important issue.”