Bahai News - Religious Freedom: a Global View
Religious Freedom: a Global View; Hyde Schedules Thursday Hearing
With U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom
WASHINGTON, May 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Established by Congress in 1998, the U.S.
Commission on International Religious Freedom recently published findings
critical of China, India, Indonesia, North Korea, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia,
Sudan, and Vietnam, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The commission, which includes
prominent leaders of the Baha'i, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim communities,
was established to monitor religious freedom around the world, and is required
to issue a report on May 1 of each year.
WHAT: Oversight hearing on the annual report of the U.S. Commission on
International Religious Freedom.
WHEN: 11:30, Thursday, May 24, 2001
WHERE: 2172 Rayburn House Office Bldg.
WITNESSES SCHEDULED: Elliott Abrams, chairman, U.S. Commission on
International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), and president, Ethics and Public
Policy Center; Rabbi David Saperstein, commissioner, USCIRF, and director,
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism; Laila al-Marayati, commissioner,
USCIRF, and past President, Muslim Women's League; Nina Shea, commissioner,
USCIRF, and director, Center for Religious Freedom, Freedom House.
What are criticisms of some countries cited in the report?
* Several governments cited in the 2001 report were selected because of their
involvement with systematic violations of religious freedom, including in
some cases imprisonment and torture on account of religious belief and
practice. Others on the list do not actively engage in such violations but,
according to the report, do little or nothing to stop religious persecution
of minority groups.
What happens next?
* The annual report also suggests policy changes including recommendations
for: restrictions on U.S. foreign aid to ensure such aid does not subsidize
governments or groups actively engaged in religious persecution; additional
foreign assistance for projects designed to encourage religious tolerance;
restrictions on access to U.S. capital markets by governments or groups
contributing to religious persecution; and proposals to formalize U.S.
opposition to certain loans by international financial institutions to
governments engaged in such persecution.
SOURCE U.S. House of Representatives Committee on International
Web Site: http://www.house.gov
©Copyright 2001, PR Newswire
Page last updated/revised 052301
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