The US-based International Religious Freedom (IRF) Roundtable, a multi-faith network of organizations and individuals advocating for freedom of religion or belief, will published a letter 27 June 2013 calling on the US government to further protect and promote international religious freedom.
The letter will be published following it’s second annual IRF event on Capitol Hill, co-hosted by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), and expresses the IRF Roundtable's concern “regarding the current state of international religious freedom (IRF), which is one of deepening crisis.” It includes recommendations “on how the United States can strengthen its IRF policy such that freedom of religion, conscience, and belief—the foundation of human dignity—is protected and promoted, resulting in reduced persecution and repression, as well as greater security and stability worldwide.”
While The IRF Roundtable welcomes the fact that “Secretary Kerry has extended the Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group of his Strategic Dialogue with Civil Society, a non-partisan, religiously diverse advisory committee that presents recommendations to the State Department in response to its expressed need for improved engagement with religious communities and understanding of religious dynamics worldwide,” it reiterates that “it is not enough.”
The recommendations include measures to strengthen the mechanisms of the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), which “have been allowed to wither and atrophy, IRF policy has not been integrated into US foreign policy and national security, and we have not had a significant impact on other governments.”
CSW’s Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said, “Together with the IRF Roundtable, we urge the US government to engage fully with the recommendations in this letter. In the week when the EU published new Guidelines on Freedom of Religion or Belief ,affirming its commitment to addressing violations of this right, we encourage the US government to strengthen its policies in order to ensure a systematic, co-ordinated approach to the defence and promotion of this right worldwide.”
For further information or to arrange interviews please contact Kiri Kankhwende, Press Officer at Christian Solidarity Worldwide on +44 (0)20 8329 0045 / +44 (0) 78 2332 9663, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.csw.org.uk.
Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) is a Christian organisation working for religious freedom through advocacy and human rights, in the pursuit of justice.