Your Hard Earned Dollars Shouldn’t Go to Leftist Media Outlets
Israel Makes a Decision About Whether to Respond to Iran
Kirby Cornered on Biden’s Foreign Policy Disasters
The Declining Military Leadership
FAFO: Watch What Happens When a Pro-Palestinian Protester Hurls Death Threats at Public...
Remember When Biden Said Trump Brought Us 'Dangerously Close' to a War With...
Why the Police Paid a Visit to E. Jean Carroll
You Can't Make This Stuff Up: Here's What Ousted Harvard President Claudine Gay...
'The Enemy Is Already Here': More Alarming Chants Heard at Progressive Conference in...
Here's Why Some Californians Are Purchasing Firearms in Droves
Democrat Governor Vetoes Bill Protecting Kids From Irreversible Transgender Surgeries
Surprise: Pro-Terrorism Organization Lies About Iran's Attack Against Israel
Cori Bush Decided to Finally Release a Statement About Iran's Attack on Israel
Nikki Haley Has a New Gig
‘Trans’ High School Athlete Dominates Women’s Track and Field Competition
OPINION

House OKs special envoy for religious liberty

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
WASHINGTON (BP)--The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation to establish a special envoy for the promotion of religious freedom in such countries as Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq and Pakistan.
Advertisement

On July 29, House members voted 402-20 for the Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act, H.R. 440. All 20 "no" votes came from Republicans.

The Senate has yet to vote on the proposal.

The bill -- endorsed by the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) and a variety of other organizations -- would create a post in the State Department for a special envoy to protect the rights of religious minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia.

Individual Christians and adherents of other religious faiths are targets of repression and violence in countries in these regions, and the existence of entire religious movements is threatened in some -- most notably religious communities in Iraq. Among his duties, a special envoy would monitor religious freedom conditions in these regions and recommend responses by Washington to violations of religious rights.

"The U.S. government needs an individual who can respond and focus on the critical situation of religious minorities in these countries whose basic human rights are increasingly under assault," Rep. Frank Wolf, R.-Va., said in a written release after the vote. Wolf is chief sponsor of the bill. "If the international community fails to speak out, the prospects for religious pluralism and tolerance in the region are bleak."

Advertisement

ERLC President Richard Land endorsed the legislation in a March letter to Wolf. He also signed with 35 others onto a June letter to House and Senate leaders urging adoption of the bill.

"The moral imperative for attention to protect religious minorities being targeted in these countries is clear.... ," Land and the others said in a June 27 letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "The future of democracy in the Near East and South Central Asia will be determined in part by whether protection for the freedom of thought, conscience, religion and belief ... is fully respected for all people."

Rep. Anna Eshoo, D.-Calif, is the lead Democratic sponsor.

Compiled by Tom Strode, Washington bureau chief for Baptist Press.

Copyright (c) 2011 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net

Join the conversation as a VIP Member

Recommended

Trending on Townhall Videos