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How America's Leaders Are Protecting International Religious Freedom 

02-24-2018

The United States is spearheading efforts to protect and strengthen international religious freedom around the world. 

21Wilberforce, an organization committed to advancing this cause, released the 115th Congress Interim International Religious Freedom Congressional Scorecard Thursday.

So far, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Representative Eliot Engel (D-NY) received top scores for their efforts. They are joined by 48 legislatures (20 Republicans and 28 Democrats) who are recognized as "Notable Leaders."

"The International Religious Freedom Congressional Scorecard is an invaluable tool that measures the progress of federal legislative efforts to promote and advance international religious freedom. Equally important, it encourages members of Congress to engage and strengthen U.S. advocacy on behalf of individuals persecuted in foreign countries for their religious beliefs—including the non-religious," said Greg Mitchell, Co-Chair of the organization, in a statement. 

The scorecard keeps track of the lawmakers who make religious freedom a priority by evaluating them on their sponsorship of bills, resolutions, amendments, and voting record in the House and Senate. 

"The need to protect and promote religious freedom is more critical now than ever. I am hopeful the Interim International Religious Freedom Congressional Scorecard will spur the 115th Congress to more proactively address the continuing and escalating religious freedom crisis worldwide," said former Congressman Frank Wolf, Distinguished Senior Fellow at 21Wilberforce.

The scorecard has received international recognition. 

"Historically, the United States has been seen as a beacon for religious freedom. I trust that the IRF Congressional Scorecard helps monitor Congress' performance in standing up for the oppressed religious minorities in every part of the world," said Farahnaz Ispahani, former member of the Pakistan Parliament. 

It's also received attention from international human rights lawyers. 

"This is a critically important initiative. We're seeing the greatest peril posed to religious freedom since the rise of Nazism and communism," said Nia Shea, Senior Fellow, Center for Religious Freedom, Hudson Institute.

Click here to view the full scorecard.
 

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