Sending Office: Raskin, Jamie
Sent By:
Devon.Ombres@mail.house.gov

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Demand an End to Global Religious Persecution
Co-sponsor H.Res. 512

“The most essential element of our defense of freedom is our insistence on speaking out for the cause of religious liberty.” – Ronald Reagan

“The Religion then of every man must be left to the conviction and conscience of every man; and it is the right of every man to exercise it as these may dictate.” – James Madison, Memorial and Remonstrance Against Religious Assessments (1785)

Supported by: Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, Center for Inquiry, Coptic Solidarity, Christian Freedom International, American Humanist Association, American Atheists, Faith & Liberty Institute, Center for Pluralism, Church
of Scientology National Affairs Office, Hindu American Foundation, Jubilee Campaign USA, Institute for Global Engagement, Institute on Religion and Democracy, International Christian Concern, Northwest Religious Liberty Association, Red Eagle Enterprises,
Save the Persecuted Christians, Secular Coalition for America, South Asia Minorities Alliance Foundation, St. Charles Institute, The Council of the Ethnic Peoples and Religious of Vietnam, The United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society,
The Voice of Karachi, The Way to Happiness Association of Tampa Bay, Vietnamese People’s Evangelical Fellowship, World Muslim Congress

 Dear Colleagues:

As the Department of State recently concluded its second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, please join us in upholding the freedom of religious worship and freedom of expression by cosponsoring H.Res. 512, which calls for an end to all anti-blasphemy,
apostasy, and heresy laws around the world.

Shockingly, dozens of governments around the world continue to prosecute and imprison people for religious crimes.  On April 29, 2019, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom released its 20th
Annual Report
, recommending that the State Department designate sixteen nations as “countries of particular concern” due to their severe suppression of religious freedom.  The examples of their religious persecution are chilling:

  • In Burma, a predominantly Buddhist nation, the Rohingya Muslim people have been subject to what the U.N. high commissioner for human rights has called “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”
  • In China, over 1 million ethnic Uighur and Kazakh Muslims have been arbitrarily detained in concentration camps styled as “political education” camps, where they are subject to torture and inhumane conditions.
  • In Iran, the Baha’i community is treated by the government as a band of heretics, and as of February 2017, at least 90 Baha’i were held in prison solely for their religious beliefs.
  • In Russia, Jehovah’s Witnesses have been banned as an extremist group and their properties have been seized and ordered liquidated by the government. Dozens have been arrested on extremism charges and remain in custody or under house arrest.
  • In Pakistan, non-Muslims, Shi’a Muslims, and Ahmadis convicted of blasphemy have been sentenced to death or life in prison, and people merely accused of blasphemy have been attacked and murdered by mobs.

In America, the First Amendment permits people to worship freely, take whatever position they want on matters of faith, and speak freely without fear of punishment.  As the world’s first constitutional democracy, America must defend the freedoms of speech,
expression, and religion against official persecution. 

That is why we are introducing a bipartisan Resolution calling for the release of all people imprisoned for their religious beliefs and the repeal of all blasphemy, apostasy, heresy and sorcery laws.

We hope that all our colleagues, Republicans and Democrats alike, will join us in this bipartisan effort.  To cosponsor this resolution, please add your name to this
form
.  If you have any questions at all, please find me on the floor or contact Devon Ombres at devon.ombres@mail.house.gov or Brianne Klimas at brianne.klimas@mail.house.gov.

Very truly yours,

 

Jamie Raskin                                                   Mark Meadows

Member of Congress                                      Member of Congress

 

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Civil Rights, Foreign Affairs, Judiciary

Related Bill Information

Bill Type: H.Res.
Bill Type: 512
Special Note:

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