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The Detroit News -- Commentary: Stand Up for Religious Minorities in the Middle East

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August 14, 2012| By: Katrina Lantos Swett

The followingop-ed appeared in The Detroit News on August 14, 2012:

On July 19, on behalf of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), I spoke on Capitol Hill in Washington about the desperate plight of the Middle East's religious minorities, many of whose members have close friends and relatives in the Detroit metropolitan area.

Remarks by USCIRF Chair Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett at Hill event on Religious Minorities in the Middle East co-hosted by the International Religious Freedom Caucus and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission

Thank you for that kind introduction.

I want to thank all of you for joining us this evening -- and I especially would like to thank the members of the International Religious Freedom Caucus and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for co-hosting today's event on the plight of religious minorities in the Middle East.  

I know that I speak for my colleagues at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom when I say that we have genuine cause for concern about the conditions these minorities face in the region today.      

Remarks by USCIRF Chair Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett "Religious Freedom in Egypt: Recommendations for U.S. Policy" at the Coptic Solidarity Third Annual Conference

I want to thank Mr. Adel Guindy and Coptic Solidarity for giving me the opportunity to speak briefly this afternoon about the status of religious freedom in Egypt and the recommendations our Commission is offering to address this serious situation.

Since its inception nearly 15 years ago, USCIRF has been deeply engaged on Egypt and for good reason:

For our entire existence, and indeed, prior to our creation, religious freedom conditions, including those of Egypt's Coptic population, have been extremely concerning.

Remarks by USCIRF Chair Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett at Hill Reception Co-Sponsored by USCIRF and the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Celebrating the Visit of His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community

Speaking for all of my USCIRF colleagues, I am delighted to join members of Congress, His Holiness, and our gracious Ahmadiyya hosts here in our nation's capital.

Soon you will hear His Holiness speak about his vision of peace and freedom among peoples and nations. This has been the Ahmadiyya message since its founding in 1889, well over a century ago.

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