The bill will improve U.S. religious freedom diplomacy efforts globally; better train and equip diplomats to counter extremism; address anti-Semitism and religious persecution and mitigate sectarian conflict. The bill:
- Creates a “Designated Persons List” for individuals who commit egregious violations of religious freedom
- Creates a comprehensive religious prisoners list—persons who are detained, imprisoned, tortured and subject to forced renunciation of faith.
- Integrates religious freedom into every aspect of U.S. foreign policy
- Strengthens the Special Advisor for religious freedom at the National Security Council
- Requires international religious freedom training for all Foreign Service Officers
- Requires that the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom report directly to the Secretary of State
- Elevates the position of the ambassador within the federal government
- Creates an “Entity of Particular Concern” designation for non-state actors like terrorist groups
- Requires more frequent presidential actions to counter severe religious freedom violations globally
- Creates a “Special Watch List”—two tier system at State (CPC countries/Special Watch List)
- Sets congressional expectations for staffing of the IRF office and expansion of Religious Freedom Program grants
The bill also provides:
The freedom of thought, conscience, and religion is understood to protect theistic and non-theistic beliefs and the right not to profess or practice any religion.The bill now goes to the President for his signature.