|2/15/2000: Hearings on Religious Persecution in Sudan: Closeing Remarks|
February 15, 2000
I want to join Dean Young in thanking you three and the others of the 15 witnesses who came forward today.
Congress created the Commission under the International Religious Freedom Act to raise the banner of religious freedom higher in our Capital and to pressure the executive branch and the legislative branch to make sure that religious freedom plays a larger role in American foreign policy.
The Commission is now organized. This is our first public hearing, and as you see, we have chosen to dedicate it to Sudan because of the dire situation there.
We are supposed to make policy recommendations to the United States Government about American support for religious freedom; we will be doing that in the coming weeks and months and in our first Annual Report in May, and needless to say, we will focus very much on Sudan and on the ways in which it may be possible for the United States Government to have a larger impact on addressing the terrible humanitarian emergency that exists there.
But we could not do this without the help of those who have testified today, so again I want to thank each of you on behalf of the Commission.