FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 24, 2015
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) supports the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2015 (S. 2078). USCIRF, which is set to sunset on September 30, 2015, urges both the Senate and House to swiftly pass the bill.
“All USCIRF Commissioners support S. 2078 which was drafted by Senators Corker (R-TN), Cardin (D-MD), Rubio (R-FL), and Durbin (D-IL), and which was unanimously approved today by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. This bipartisan bill would allow USCIRF to continue its vital mission in support of international religious freedom. Such support is critically necessary today, especially given the importance of religion in today’s world and the violations of religious freedom that top the foreign policy challenges the United States faces,” said USCIRF Chairman Robert P. George, who was appointed to the Commission by Speaker of the House John Boehner. Eric P. Schwartz, a USCIRF Vice Chair who was appointed by President Obama, agreed, noting that “this bill has support from all Commissioners and bipartisan support in the Senate.”
USCIRF is composed of nine private sector commissioners who volunteer their time in support of USCIRF’s mandate, and the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, who is a non-voting member. Commissioners are appointed by the President and Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and Senate. USCIRF is a congressionally created entity that is separate and independent from the Department of State, and is not a non-governmental organization, interest group, or advocacy organization.
The current Commissioners are: Dr. Robert P. George (Chairman), Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser (Vice Chair), Eric P. Schwartz (Vice Chair), Mary Ann Glendon, Dr. Daniel I. Mark, Rev. Thomas J. Reese S.J., Hannah Rosenthal, Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett, and Dr. James J. Zogby. Ambassador David Saperstein, the State Department's Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, serves as an ex-officio member of the Commission.
To interview a USCIRF Commissioner, please contact USCIRF at email@example.com or 202-786-0613.