The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, is a bipartisan commission that monitors and reports on religious freedom internationally. The commission’s authority currently expires on September 30, 2022.
Less than two weeks before USCIRF’s authorization expires, the US House of Representatives passed US Senator Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) United States Commission on International Religious Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2022, which reauthorizes USCIRF through fiscal year 2024 The bill now goes to President Joe Biden’s desk to be signed into law. Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jim Risch (R-ID), Dick Durbin (D-IL), James Lankford (R-OK) and Chris Coons (D-DE) are original co-sponsors.
“I am grateful that the House voted to reauthorize USCIRF’s mission and reaffirm the importance of religious freedom everywhere. USCIRF does a phenomenal job defending this sacred right around the world, but its mandate expires in just a few days. President Biden must sign our bill immediately.” — Senator Rubio
“The passage of our USCIRF reauthorization bill in the House of Representatives is an important step in ensuring that the United States can properly promote religious freedom around the world and investigate violations, including the persecution of Yazidis, Baha’is, Christians and others in the Middle East, genocide The Uyghur in China attacks Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia. I hope the president will quickly sign this law.” — Senator Risch
“The United States has a long tradition of promoting religious freedom abroad, and this Commission is dedicated to advising Congress and the executive branch on how to successfully ensure that religious freedom is protected and that religion is not used to justify human rights violations. As the global refugee crisis worsens, the United States must do more to address the scourge of religious persecution, including holding perpetrators accountable and providing refugees with safe haven. It is encouraging to see Congress come together on this pressing issue to ensure that the Commission can effectively fulfill its mission.” — Senator Durbin
“USCIRF does invaluable work to help our nation protect and promote the inalienable human right to religious freedom for all people of all faiths around the world. I am glad to see that the House has finally accepted/promulgated my bill to reauthorize this commission.” — Senator Lankford
“I am proud to have worked to protect international religious freedom by passing USCIRF reauthorization in the Senate on a bipartisan basis, and I am pleased that our colleagues in the House of Representatives finally passed and sent the bill to President Biden for his signature. Around the world, communities like the Rohingya in Burma, the Christians in Nigeria and the Uyghurs in China face horrific attacks for exercising their human right to freedom of religion. The United States was built on the core value of religious freedom, and we must continue to work with our international partners to ensure that the global community enjoys the same opportunity to worship peacefully.” — Senator Coons
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July 2022: Rubio’s bill to reauthorize the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom passes the Senate
June 2022: Rubio, colleagues welcome passage of bill to reauthorize United States Commission on International Religious Freedom
March 2022: Rubio leads colleagues in introducing bill to reauthorize United States Commission on International Religious Freedom
December 2019: Rubio secures key funding for Florida & US national security interests in appropriations bills
September 2019: Rubio, Menendez, Gardner, Durbin, Coons introduce bill to reauthorize US Commission on International Religious Freedom