Thursday, April 23, 2015

Obama Urged To Appoint Near East Religious Freedom Envoy

Last year Congress passed and the President signed the Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act which provides that  the President may appoint a Special Envoy to Promote Religious Freedom of Religious Minorities in the Near East and South Central Asia. (See prior posting.)  However the President has never filled the authorized position.  The Washington Times reported this week that now members of Congress and religious activists are urging the President to move swiftly to fill the position as Christians face increasng threats in the Middle East.  Last week 43 members of Congress wrote the President urging speedy action, and on Monday over 50 organizations, scholars, religious leaders and human rights advocates wrote the President with a similar request, saying in part:
In the seven months since the legislation became law, discrimination, repression and outright violence against religious minorities has only escalated.