FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 14, 2017
MICHAEL CROMARTIE: Former USCIRF Chair and Religious Scholar Dies
“Cromartie embodied the effort to integrate religious values with public policy”
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) was saddened to learn that on August 28 former USCIRF Commissioner Michael Cromartie died. For many years, he was a vice president at the Ethics & Public Policy Center in Washington, DC.
President George W. Bush first appointed Mr. Cromartie to the Commission in 2004 and he served multiple terms, ending in 2010. A true leader of the commission in its first decade, Mr. Cromartie chaired the commission twice (2005-2006 and 2007-2008) and served as vice chair three times (2006-2007, 2008-2009, and 2009-2010).
Mr. Cromartie was a prolific writer who edited more than a dozen books on religion and politics. He also served as a primary source for the media as reporters sought to understand the intersection of politics and religion. He has been described as being part of a wave of evangelical Christians who believed that their faith required an active engagement in both politics and public life.
USCIRF Chairman Daniel Mark said, “Michael Cromartie embodied the effort to integrate religious values with public policy – at both the domestic and international level. We owe him a debt of gratitude for championing an open and honest discourse about the role of religion and belief in a public policy and political context.”
Mr. Cromartie was known to many current USCIRF commissioners and staff who remember him as a kind-hearted, affable man dedicated to encouraging groups to engage with each other on a civil basis. For journalists, this meant convening a twice-yearly group called the Faith Angle Forum that brought religious leaders and scholars together with journalists and writers. He then continued this work on creating a civil public discourse over religion and public policy in his work at the Ethics & Public Policy Center after he left USCIRF.
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission, the first of its kind in the world. USCIRF reviews the facts and circumstances of religious freedom violations 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 USCIRF at Media@USCIRF.gov or John D. Lawrence, Director of Communications (JLawrence@USCIRF.gov/+1-202-786-0611).