WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today joined Senators Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), and Chris Coons (D-Del.) in applauding unanimous committee passage of their United States Commission on International Religious Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2022. The bill would reauthorize the independent, bipartisan United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) for two years, past its current expiration of December 2022. The legislation can now be considered by the full Senate.
“As religious freedom is under attack in all corners of the globe, it’s important we utilize every resource available to advance and protect the right of individuals to be able to practice their own religion without fear,” said Risch. “This reauthorization will enable USCIRF to continue promoting religious freedom and investigating violations, such as the genocide of Uyghurs in China, attacks on Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, and the persecution of Yazidis, Baha'is, Christians, and others in the Middle East.”
“Just this week, at least 50 innocent Nigerian Christians were massacred while peacefully practicing their faith,” said Rubio. “Horrific events like this demonstrate the importance of USCIRF’s work. I appreciate my colleagues’ support and I urge the Senate to pass this bill without delay.”
“I applaud the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations’ action today to pass our bill to reauthorize the US Commission on International Religious Freedom. The Commission conducts crucial research and provides vital information on the status of religious liberty worldwide so we can ensure that religious freedom is protected and promoted for people of faith around the world,” said Lankford. “The right to practice or have any faith is a fundamental human right of all people everywhere. We should shine a light on those who do not protect the unalienable human right of religious freedom for all people.”