White House Less Concerned about Religious Freedom, Report Says [Excerpts]
Every year the issue of religious freedom is becoming less important to the White House and State Department, a bipartisan U.S. government panel complained in its annual report on Thursday.
Though the U.S. government should be increasingly mindful of religious freedom in its foreign policy and national security decisions, the opposite has occurred, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom stated its its 11th annual report.
“Regrettably, that small point (freedom of religion) seems to shrink year-after-year for the White House and the State Department,” the panel said.
“Neither prior Democratic and Republican administrations, nor the current administration, have been sufficiently engaged in promoting the freedom of religion or belief abroad."
USCIRF is an independent U.S. government commission that monitors religious freedom worldwide and makes policy recommendations to the president, secretary of state, and congress. Its Annual Report 2010 covers 28 countries from April 2009 to March 2010.
The report pointed out that the Obama administration has to date, after more than a year, failed to appoint an Ambassador-At-Large for International Religious Freedom. The position was vacant during the reporting period for this report.