The religious freedom commission has appointed three new figures, including the CEO of a global mission supporting persecuted Christians worldwide.
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom or USCIRF has appointed Dr. David Curry, the CEO of Open Doors, a global community of Christians committed to strengthening and supporting the faithful who are persecuted, attacked, and discriminated against globally. USCIRF has also appointed former U.S. Congressman Frank R. Wolf and reappointed Uyghur attorney Nury Turkel. USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan federal government commission established by the U.S. Congress that works to monitor, analyze, and report on religious freedom globally.
According to Religion News Service, USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by leaders of both political parties in the Senate and House of Representatives and are tasked to create foreign policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and Congress to curb religious persecution and promote religious freedom globally.
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Open Doors CEO is the Newest Addition to the USCIRF
Dr. Curry has served as Open Doors CEO since August 2013 and has traveled extensively to report on those who are being persecuted by restrictive governments. According to his profile, Dr. Curry frequents Washington D.C. to advocate for religious freedom at the highest government levels and has also testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee. He has also met with policymakers from both parties and even those at the White House, Senate, and State Department. The Open Doors CEO is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and is often featured in Christian-geared media outlets.
Dr. Curry has also served as CEO and president at Christian organizations that support homeless and neglected children in India, Peru, and more. He is also an author of four books. As USCIRF commissioner, he is set to further the cause of religious freedom worldwide.
Dr. Curry said that across many countries today, "exercising the fundamental right to practice one's faith comes at a terrible price." He believes that people should have the freedom to worship and carry out their religious beliefs without fear. He added, "I'm honored to serve on this bipartisan commission."
Former Congressman and Uyghur Attorney Added to USCIRF
USCIRF has also appointed former Republican Rep. Wolf of Virginia, who served from 1981 to 2015. Dr. Curry called Wolf's outspoken advocacy on religious freedom "unparalleled" over the years. Wolf introduced the "Freedom from Religious Persecution Act of 1997," which served as a catalyst for religious freedom measures in the 1990s. In 1998, the original International Religious Freedom Act was introduced by then Senator Don Nickles and this is the law that was amended to become the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act.
The Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act aimed to improve the U.S.' ability to "advance religious freedom globally through enhanced diplomacy, training, counterterrorism, and foreign assistance efforts," as well as improve political responses to religious freedom violations and extremism worldwide.
Also rejoining USCIRF is Uyghur attorney Turkel, a foreign policy expert and human rights advocate. He has served as USCIRF's Vice Chair after being appointed by Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi in May 2020 for a two-year term. Turkel is a foreign policy expert when it comes to China, Central Asia, and Turkey.
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