WASHINGTON—The Armenian National Committee of America recently joined the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and more than 150 people representing a diverse group of more than 30 interfaith and human rights groups in saluting the ongoing efforts of the Congressional International Religious Freedom Caucus.
The attendees at the March 31stt Capitol Hill reception praised Caucus founders, Representatives Trent Franks (R-AZ) and Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), for keeping Congress informed about religious freedom issues and serving as a key networking hub between non-profit advocacy groups and policymakers through briefings on domestic and international religious freedom issues. Participants also welcomed the leadership of incoming Caucus Co-Chair Heather Shuler (D-NC), who will be taking over Rep. Cleaver’s responsibilities in the 112th Congress.
ANCA Government Affairs Director Kate Nahapetian has been working with the Caucus on a range of religious freedom issues, including the ongoing persecution of the Christian minority in Turkey. ANCA’s fact sheet on Turkey’s persecution of Christians can be viewed at:http://www.anca.org/assets/pdf/misc/christian_persecution_turkey_0311.pdf
In addition to remarks by the Caucus Co-Chairs, the reception featured keynote speeches by Dr. Habib Malek, the son of Charles Malik, the author of Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; and Farzad Kamalabadi, who shared a moving account of the continued imprisonment of his sister, Fariba Kamalabadi, and repression of the Baha’is in Iran.
Joining the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in cosponsoring the evening were (in alphabetical order): Alliance Defense Fund; American Islamic Congress; American Islamic Forum for Democracy; American Jewish Committee; American Mesopotamian Organization; Armenian National Committee of America; Barnabas Aid and the Westminster Institute; Chaldean Federation of America.; China Aid; Christian Solidarity International; Church of Scientology; Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights; Concerned Women of America; Falun Dafa Practitioners Association in Washington; First Freedom Center; Food for the Hungry; Foundation for Democracy in Iran; Freedom House; Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society; Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom; Institute on Global Engagement; International Christian Concern; International Religious Liberty Association; Iraqi Christian Relief Council; Jubilee Campaign; National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the U.S.; Office of International Justice and Peace, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Open Doors USA; Religious Freedom Coalition; The American Center for Law and Justice; The Institute on Religion and Democracy, Religious Liberty Program and Church Alliance for a New Sudan; The Mitchell Firm; and the Religious Freedom Project at The Berkley Center for Religious, Peace, and World Affairs. The event also enjoyed the support of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.