FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 16, 2018
USCIRF to Host Reception Celebrating 20th Anniversary of IRFA and a Grant Workshop During First-Ever Ministerial on International Religious Freedom
“We are excited to participate in this Ministerial, which we welcome as a signal from the Administration of its commitment to defending religious freedom around the world,” said Chair Dorjee.
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) will host a reception at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) on Wednesday, July 25, in celebration of the twentieth anniversary of the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), announced USCIRF chair Dr. Tenzin Dorjee today. The reception at USIP will be held on July 25 from 5:00-7:00 p.m during the first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. This is an invitation-only event.
On Thursday, July 26, USCIRF will also host a grant workshop for civil society organizations.
The workshop will take place from 2:00-5:00 p.m. in the Government Publishing Office building. Civil society participants will have the opportunity to learn how to apply for U.S. government funding from representatives from the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
“We are excited to participate in this Ministerial, which we welcome as a signal from the Administration of its commitment to defending religious freedom around the world,” said Chair Dorjee. “As a bipartisan commission with a unique capacity to build bridges between civil society, religious groups and the U.S. and foreign governments, USCIRF has an important contribution to make at such a gathering.”
The Ministerial is expected to draw approximately 600 representatives of governments, international organizations, religious communities, civil society, and others involved in the defense of religious freedom around the world. USCIRF’s reception, entitled “Past, Present, and Future: Unprecedented Challenges and New Opportunities,” will offer attendees from various sectors the opportunity to network and build relationships, as well as to learn more about IRFA and its implementation since its passage and about the work of the Commission.
Invited attendees and speakers include Speaker Paul Ryan, Leader Nancy Pelosi, Leader Mitch McConnell, Leader Chuck Schumer, the Honorable Frank R. Wolf, as well as other Members of Congress, White House and Administration officials, Foreign Ministers, and former USCIRF Commissioners.
“We look forward to a productive exchange with those in positions of influence in other governments as well as with those who have overcome repression and are striving to ensure that more people can fully enjoy this fundamental right - freedom of religion or belief” said Chair Dorjee.
The other Commissioners commented:
“I’m excited about the opportunity this Ministerial represents for those fighting for religious freedom. I especially look forward to raising awareness at this key event about something that needs to receive more attention: the link between violations of religious freedom and women’s rights.”
- Vice Chair Kristina Arriaga
“Freedom of religion or belief is a fundamental right that sadly is not enjoyed by millions around the world. This Ministerial is an important expression of our commitment to fight for the defense of this right alongside people of all faiths and none, and in concert with partners and allies from other nations.”
- Vice Chair Gayle Manchin
“I think everyone should be encouraged by this initiative from the Administration. It represents a renewed commitment to promoting that which our founders rightly recognized as a foundational human right. I look forward to joining my fellow Commissioners in encouraging representatives from other nations to likewise dedicate themselves to expanding and defending this right for people all over the world.”
- Commissioner Gary L. Bauer
“As someone who believes we should be more closely engaging with other governments on a host of issues, I look forward to speaking with representatives from Middle Eastern and other nations about religious freedom. Protecting this right for all religious minorities is not just the right thing to do but also something that is closely connected to their national security and economic interests.”
- Commissioner Andy Khawaja
“I applaud the Administration for clearly communicating its commitment to religious freedom through this Ministerial. As people around the world face ever greater challenges to their sacred rights of conscience, it is imperative that we rededicate ourselves to this issue and join our efforts with those of other nations and civil society around the world to advance this fundamental right.”
- Commissioner Nadine Maenza
“There are few issues I am more passionate about than religious freedom. I commend the Administration for taking the step of holding this unprecedented gathering and I’m thrilled about the opportunity to engage with advocates and government officials from various nations on ways we can all more effectively promote religious freedom.”
- Commissioner Johnnie Moore
“As I have said before, religious freedom is the foundation for all other freedoms, so it is appropriate that the Administration is holding this Ministerial, the first of its kind, on religious freedom. This is a fundamental human right with a long and proud history in the U.S. and we must continue to protect it. It is a right that belongs to all people at all times throughout the world.
- Commissioner Tony Perkins
For more information on USCIRF events during the ministerial, please click here.
For more information on the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, please click here.
For more information on side events taking place during the week of the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, please click here.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission. USCIRF’s mission is to elevate and promote international religious freedom. USCIRF reviews the facts and circumstances of religious freedom violations abroad and makes policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State, and Congress. USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by the President and the Congressional leadership of both political parties. To interview a Commissioner, please contact Isaac Six at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1-202-279-0274).