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Promoting International Religious Freedom

Supporting religious freedom abroad is a basic element of the U.S. strategy to promote international human rights.  The State Department’s Office of International Religious Freedom, directed by the U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, leads American efforts to curtail religious persecution and promote interfaith cooperation. 

The State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report provides a periodic assessment of religious freedom around the world and cites violations of the rights of religious groups and denominations.  Also, the U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism works to combat anti-Semitism globally.

Parallel to the State Department’s efforts, the independent United States Commission on International Religious Freedom monitors violations of religious freedom around the world and makes policy recommendations to the President and Congress.

During the 112th Congress (2011-2012), Members of the Senate and the House have introduced nearly 20 bills concerning religious freedom abroad.  The Congressional Caucus for International Religious Freedom, co-chaired by Congressman Trent Franks of Arizona and Congressman Heath Shuler of North Carolina, is active in pushing much of this legislation and other initiatives forward.