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Christian Coalition Targets Religious Persecution

Hodel calls U.S. inaction 'a disgrace'

Christian Coalition

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Aug. 26) -- Fighting global religious persecution tops the Christian Coalition's newly announced set of legislative priorities.

Outlining his group's agenda for the year, Christian Coalition President Don Hodel said, "Today we are putting another issue at the top because it is an international crisis and U.S. inaction on this subject is a disgrace. That issue is worldwide religious persecution."

"Today millions of people of faith around the world are being killed, tortured, raped or maimed, sold as slaves and more, for no reason other than they are Christians, Muslims or Jews or something else," Hodel continued. He singled out China, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq as nations that disregard religious freedom.

Hodel urged Congress to pass the Freedom of Religious Persecution Act, sponsored by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) and Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.). The bill would establish a White House office to monitor worldwide persecution, impose sanctions on foreign governments that violate religious rights and consider asylum procedures.

Other legislation the conservative group plans to urge lawmakers to pass are:

  • The American Community Renewal Act. This bill would to create scholarships, tax credits, empowerment zones for poor communities and support for religious organizations that serve the inner city.

  • A religious freedom amendment to the Constitution. This amendment was proposed in response to a Supreme Court ruling that struck down legislation intended to protect religious practices from undue government interference.

  • Elimination of the "tax penalty" for marriages and a further reduction of individual taxes for the American family.

  • Creation of educational savings accounts for kindergarten through 12th grade and more choices for public and private school students.


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