US SB2878 | 2015-2016 | 114th Congress

Status

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Republican 7-0)
Status: Introduced on April 28 2016 - 25% progression, died in committee
Action: 2016-04-28 - Read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.
Pending: Senate Foreign Relations Committee
Text: Latest bill text (Introduced) [PDF]

Summary

Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act This bill amends the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRFA) to include among the responsibilities of the Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom the integration of international religious freedom policies and strategies into U.S. foreign policy. The bill states that the Department of State should consider elevating the Office of International Religious Freedom and the position of the Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom to the Office of the Secretary of State. The executive summary to the annual religious freedom report shall include a special watch list of countries that engage in or tolerate severe violations of religious freedom but do not meet the criteria for designation as country of particular concern for religious freedom. The bill expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) there should be within the National Security Council's staff a Special Adviser to the President on International Religious Freedom, (2) the State Department should work with Congress to address severe violations of religious freedom by non-state actors, (3) ongoing and persistent waivers of specified presidential actions against countries of particular concern for religious freedom do not fulfill the IRFA's purpose, (4) the State Department should make specified assistance available to promote international religious freedom, (5) U.S. institutions of higher education operating campuses outside the United States or establishing educational entities with foreign governments should seek to uphold the right of freedom of religion, and (6) the President's annual national security strategy should promote international religious freedom. The Foreign Service Act of 1980 is amended to direct the State Department to develop a curriculum for, and the Director of the George P. Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center to begin, mandatory training on religious freedom for all Foreign Service officers. The IRFA is amended to require the Commission on International Religious Freedom to compile and make publicly available updated lists of persons it determines are imprisoned, disappeared, placed under house arrest, tortured, or subject to forced renunciations of faith for their religious activity or religious freedom advocacy by a foreign government or a non-state actor that the commission recommends for designation as a country or entity of particular concern for religions freedom. The President shall: (1) identify and designate a non-state actor that has engaged in particularly severe violations of religious freedom as an entity of particular concern for religious freedom; and (2) take appropriate actions to address severe violations of religious freedom, including suspension of assistance. The President shall designate any country that appears on the special watch list in more than two consecutive annual reports on international religious freedom as a country of particular concern for religious freedom. The State Department shall establish a list of foreign individuals who are sanctioned for ordering or otherwise directing particularly severe violations of freedom religion.

Tracking Information

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Title

Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act

Sponsors


History

DateChamberAction
2016-04-28SenateRead twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations.

Subjects


US Congress State Sources


Bill Comments

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