The Fight over a Religious-Freedom Commission Heats Up

Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) on Capitol Hill, April 10, 2019 (Erin Scott/Reuters)
A proposal to adjust the remit of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has divided lawmakers and bureaucrats.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE I n 1998, Congress created the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) to fight religious-freedom violations around the globe and to make relevant policy recommendations to the State Department, Congress, and the White House. In September of this year, the Senate put forward a bill that would change the mission of the USCIRF to include opposition to the “abuse of religion to justify human rights violations,” and would adjust the roles of USCIRF’s nine commissioners. Introduced by senators Marco Rubio (R., Fla.), Cory Gardner (R., Colo.), Bob Menendez (D., N.J.), Richard Durbin (D., Ill.), and Chris Coons (D., Del.),

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