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Senator Lankford Applauds State Department International Religious Freedom Report

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today made the following statement on the release of the State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report

“I applaud Secretary Rex Tillerson’s remarks on the release of today’s State Department International Religious Freedom Report. It is vitally important that our top diplomat clearly and unequivocally proclaim that religious freedom is a core American value and a universal human right. Sadly, many countries, including China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, and Russia, and many others, continue to oppress, imprison, torture, and persecute religious minority communities. Turkey continues to unjustly imprison Dr. Andrew Brunson without charges, and I appreciate Secretary Tillerson reminding the world of this. It is important for America to be clear about the human rights abuses happening around the world, as well as the genocide being committed by ISIS against Yazidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims. With an Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom nominated, and hopefully soon to be confirmed, and an administration that is firmly committed to human rights, we can make a difference around the world.”

On March 17, Lankford wrote an op-ed about Secretary of State John Kerry’s religious genocide designation a year ago, and what America should do to protect persecuted religious minorities abroad. In December 2016, President Obama signed the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act, a bill co-sponsored by Lankford, to strengthen the US’ effort to combat persecution of religious minorities. In 2015, Lankford successfully secured a Trade Promotion Authority amendment that promotes international religious freedom in our trade negotiations.