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USCIRF Mourns the Passing of Abdurrahman Wahid; Champion of Religious Freedom

December 31, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Abdurrahman Wahid (also known as Gus Dur), prominent religious reformer and former President of Indonesia, died yesterday at the age of 69. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) mourns the passing of this champion of religious freedom and determined opponent of radicalism and religious extremism.

"Gus Dur was a renowned religious reformer, a voice of moderation when his country needed it most, and a bridge between Muslims and people of other faiths. His unique voice and perspective will be missed," said Leonard Leo, USCIRF chair. "His life's mission was to increase religious understanding and reduce religious extremism worldwide. Though the world produces few men of his talents, the mission he lived for should be everyone's goal."

USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission. USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by the President and the leadership of both political parties in the Senate and the House of Representatives. USCIRF"s principal responsibilities are to review the facts and circumstances of violations of religious freedom internationally and to make policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and Congress.

To interview a USCIRF Commissioner, contact Tom Carter, Communications Director at tcarter@uscirf.gov This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

or (202) 523-3257.