Examining the Government’s Record on Implementing the International Religious Freedom Act

Author: Thomas Farr

June 13, 2013

Thomas Farr, director of the Religious Freedom Project, presented testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on National Security. His written testimony focuses on three main questions. First, why does the United States seek to promote religious freedom and reduce religious persecution in its foreign policy, and can it enhance our national security? Second, are we succeeding, and, if not, why not? Third, how can we improve our policy? Farr argues that there are clear humanitarian and national security rationales for supporting religious freedom around the world. He then contends that the "right to love" has replaced religious freedom as America's "first freedom" and contributed to the relative ineffectiveness of US policy over the last fifteen years. Farr concludes with suggestions for removing institutional obstacles to a more effective religious freedom policy. Watch video of the testimony here.

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