How Your Voice Can Make a Difference in Congress
Are you wondering how you can make a difference for persecuted Christians? Advocacy is one crucial way through which we can help to improve circumstances for suffering believers.
Our advocacy department at Open Doors closely follows international religious freedom legislation moving through Congress. We are providing summaries of some current House bills here, so that you can Contact Your Member of Congress in support of this legislation.
Bills that have a large number of cosponsors are much more likely to make it through the committee process and to a vote on the floor of the House or Senate. Since over 9,000 bills are introduced into Congress each term, your member of Congress depends on hearing from you regarding the legislation that you care about.
Take just a moment to ask your representative to cosponsor these bills, or thank them if they are already cosponsors.
Bills to Support in the House of Representatives:
· H.R.1150 – The Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act of 2015
Sponsored by Rep Christopher Smith, R-NJ and 106 Cosponsors
This bill will amend the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 in order to strengthen its impact. We have been advocating for this bill for several months. Please read our earlier article, New Religious Freedom Bill Introduced in Congress for more details on this important legislation.
· H.R. 2037 United States Commission on International Religious Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2015
Sponsored by Rep. Christopher Smith, R-NJ and 1 Cosponsor
Amends the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to reauthorize the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent federal government advisory body, through September of 2021. USCIRF is a non-partisan body that serves a vital role in monitoring the state of religious freedom around the world. It publishes a yearly report and makes recommendations on its findings to the State Department and the President.
· H.Res.290 – Calling For the Global Repeal of Blasphemy Laws
Sponsored by Rep. Joseph Pitts, R-PA and 7 Cosponsors
Calls on the President and the State Department to prioritize the repeal of blasphemy laws, because they threaten the individual right to freedom of religion and expression. In addition, such laws violate international standards specified in the International Declaration of Human Rights which affirm the freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
If you wish to contact your representative, here is a short sample email to use:
Dear Rep Jones,
As your constituent, I urge you to cosponsor H.R. 1150, The Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act of 2015. This bill will amend the original International Religious Freedom Act in significant ways. The past year has been one of the most horrific years in recent memory for Christians and other minority faith groups in the Middle East and Africa. Please indicate your support for protecting these, and others who suffer for their beliefs, by cosponsoring H.R.1150.
Your calls, letters, and emails make a difference. Thank you for being a voice for the persecuted church around the world!