Loading
US religious freedom commission granted brief extension
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- A federal commission that advocates for religious freedom around the world has been given a four-week reprieve from closing its doors on Nov. 18.

Funding for the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom was included in a “minibus” spending bill to fund the federal government through Dec. 16, amid continuing budget-reducing negotiations.

The bill was approved by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on Nov. 17 and signed into law the next day by President Barack Obama.

Originally set to expire at the end of September, funding for the commission had already been extended through Nov. 18. At that date, the commission would have come to an end if Congress had not approved continued funding for another four weeks.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom now hopes for a Senate vote on a separate reauthorization bill to prevent it from going out of existence on Dec. 16.

In September, the House of Representatives voted 391 to 21 to approve a bill that would extend funding of the commission for two more years.

However, the process came to a halt in the Senate when a single anonymous senator reportedly placed a “hold” on the bill, preventing it from coming to a vote. The reasons for the hold were not disclosed.  

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom was originally created by Congress in 1998 to promote religious freedom by calling attention to religious persecution in countries around the world.

The independent, bipartisan commission advises the president, Congress and the State Department on the status of religious freedom overseas.

It presents an annual report on religious freedom around the world and recommends the designation of “countries of particular concern” for nations that tolerate “particularly severe” violations of religious liberty.

The U.S. bishops, observing the importance of religious freedom as a foundation for other human rights, have urged the Senate to reauthorize the commission.

Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, N.Y., chair of the bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, called in an Oct. 27 letter for the work of the commission to be continued.

“Ongoing attacks against Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East and in other parts of the world point to the need to pay more, not less, attention to religious freedom,” he said.

Abolishing the commission, Bishop Hubbard argued, would send the unintended message “that the United States is not committed to the protection of religious liberty.”

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
The tombs of the early Christians
Missionaries of Africa, called "the White Fathers"
Italian youth give testimony after mission to Peru
Nov
28

Liturgical Calendar

November 28, 2014

Friday of the Thirty-Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Lk 21:29-33

Gospel
Date
11/28/14
11/27/14
11/25/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Rev 20: 1-4, 11-21:2
Gospel:: Lk 21: 29-33

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
11/28/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 21:29-33

Homily
Date
11/28/14
11/27/14
11/25/14