Yesterday, 12/15, the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act was presented to the president for signature. Please consider taking a moment to send a letter in support of this bill. (Read full Act) (SEND A LETTER)
This Act begins by stating that “The freedom of thought, conscience, and religion is understood to protect theistic and non-theistic beliefs as well as the right not to profess or practice any religion.” The Act also condemns “specific targeting of non-theists, humanists, and atheists because of their beliefs” and attempts to forcibly compel “non-believers or non-theists to recant their beliefs or to convert.”
The bill was named for Representative Frank R. Wolf (R-VA), now retired, who was the original sponsor of the 1998 legislation. The current Act is a bipartisan effort that was introduced in the House on 2/27/2015, passed in May 2016, passed the Senate on December 10th, and was presented to the president for signature on 12/15/16.
The American Humanist Association has been working intentionally with congress since 2015 to ensure that non-theistic individuals were explicitly recognized in this Act. From Roy Speckardt, Executive Director of AHA, “Once this bill becomes law, it will be a huge step towards protecting atheists and humanists around the world from the recent wave of violence against members of our community.”
Summary of Purpose: To amend the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to improve the ability of the United States to advance religious freedom globally through enhanced diplomacy, training, counterterrorism, and foreign assistance efforts, and through stronger and more flexible political responses to religious freedom violations and violent extremism worldwide, and for other purposes.
The Office of International Religious Freedom has the mission of promoting religious freedom as a core objective of U.S. foreign policy.
- Read the full bill on Congress.gov
- American Humanist Association – send a letter to the President
- Office of International Religious Freedom
- Read the 2015 International Religious Freedom Report from the US Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor
- Freedom of Thought Report from the International Humanist and Ethical Union