INTERIM IRF CONGRESSIONAL SCORECARD
PURPOSES OF THE SCORECARD
CELEBRATE POSITIVE MEASURES taken by members of Congress regarding international religious freedom
The International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRFA) and the amplified Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act of 2016 provide the framework for advancing religious freedom as a U.S. foreign policy imperative. It is in this same spirit that we present the Interim International Religious Freedom Congressional Scorecard as a measure of progress made toward that end.
It is our hope that the Scorecard will celebrate positive measures taken by members of Congress and also highlight opportunities that remain to further advance U.S. advocacy on behalf of individuals persecuted in foreign countries for their religious beliefs.
“I am grateful that 21Wilberforce—named in honor of William Wilberforce, a British Lawmaker who was key in the abolition of slavery in the British Empire—is highlighting the essential role of Congress in advancing international religious freedom.”
Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ)
Chairman, House Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organization Subcommittee
“The International Religious Freedom Congressional Scorecard has an incredibly important story to tell. As religious freedom abuses have proliferated around the world, America's efforts to advocate for this bedrock human right have not kept pace. This vital tool tells us who in our Congress is leaning forward in defense of the First Freedom and who is leaning back. This is information we need to know so that all of us can better protect the conscience rights of people across the globe.”
“The International Religious Freedom Congressional Scorecard is an invaluable tool that measures the progress of federal legislative efforts to promote and advance international religious freedom. Equally important, it encourages members of Congress to engage and strengthen U.S. advocacy on behalf of individuals persecuted in foreign countries for their religious beliefs—including the non-religious.”
“Historically, the United States has been seen as a beacon for religious freedom. I trust that the IRF Congressional Scorecard helps monitor Congress’ performance in standing up for the oppressed religious minorities in every part of the world.”
“This is a critically important initiative. We’re seeing the greatest peril posed to religious freedom since the rise of Nazism and communism.”
“Prior to the creation of the IRF Congressional Scorecard, there was no definitive way to measure U.S. federal legislators' engagement on IRF issues. The IRF Congressional Scorecard has provided an added incentive for more legislators to become engaged. It encourages passage of important bills and resolutions on IRF issues, and shows NGOs specific areas that require more attention.”
114th Congress IRF Congressional Scorecard
OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES
We hope the Interim IRF Congressional Scorecard is a model of proactive engagement for legislators around the world. If you are reading this from outside the United States, we encourage you to discuss with your government officials about how they can work to further this most fundamental of human rights. If you are currently living in a context where religious freedom is being denied, please let us know.