|International Religious Freedom Act of 1998|
|Title:||International Religious Freedom Act of 1998|
|Introduced by:||Rep. The United States Congress is the bicameral Legislature of the federal government of the United States of America, consisting of two houses Frank Wolf, September 9, 1997; Sen. Frank Rudolph Wolf (born January 30, 1939) is a career politician and a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives since Events 1000 - Battle of Svolder, Viking Age. 1379 - Treaty of Neuberg, splitting the Austrian Year 1997 ( MCMXCVII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1997 Gregorian calendar Arlen Specter|
|Date passed:||May 14, 1998 (House), October 9, 1998 (Senate)|
|Date signed into law:||October 27, 1998|
|Related legislation:||Foreign Service Act of 1980|
The International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (Public Law 105–292, as amended by Public Law 106–55, Public Law 106–113, Public Law 107–228, Public Law 108–332, and Public Law 108–458) was passed to promote religious freedom as a U.S. Foreign policy, and to advocate on the behalf of the individuals viewed as persecuted in foreign countries on the account of religion. Arlen Specter (born February 12 1930) is the senior United States Senator from Pennsylvania and a member of the Republican Party Events 1264 - Battle of Lewes: Henry III of England is captured in France making Simon de Montfort the Year 1998 ( MCMXCVIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar) The United States House of Representatives is one of the two chambers of the United States Congress; the other is the Senate. Events 768 - Carloman I and Charlemagne are crowned Kings of The Franks. Year 1998 ( MCMXCVIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar) The United States Senate is the Upper house of the bicameral United States Congress, the Lower house being the House of Representatives Events 312 - Constantine the Great is said to have received his famous Vision of the Cross. Year 1998 ( MCMXCVIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar) Public law is a theory of law governing the relationship between Individuals ( Citizens companies) and the State. Freedom of religion is the freedom of an individual or community in public or private to manifest religion or belief in teaching practice worship and observance The foreign policy of the United States is highly influential on the world stage as it is a Superpower. The United States, through its constitution and various international agreements, supposedly has an obligation to support religious freedom around the world by skirmishing religious intolerance in countries that put sanctions on the religious rights of the people. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the A Treaty is an agreement under International law entered into by actors in international law namely States and International organizations. The Act was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on October 27, 1998. The President of the United States is the Head of state and Head of government of the United States and is the highest political official in United States by William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III, August 19 1946 served as the forty-second President of the United States Events 312 - Constantine the Great is said to have received his famous Vision of the Cross. Year 1998 ( MCMXCVIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar)  Three cooperative entities have been maintained by this act to monitor religious persecution.
While the original bill imposed mandatory sanctions on the countries supporting religious persecution, the amended act offers the president a waiver provision if he feels that it would further the goal of the bill or promote the interests of US national security not to impose measures on a designated country. A waiver is the voluntary relinquishment or Surrender of some known Right or Privilege. National security is the entire scope of measures undertaken by the Governments of Nation-states in providing assurance of national Sovereignty
This Act was a response to the growing concern about religious persecution throughout the world. Religious persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group of individuals as a response to their religious beliefs of affiliations. There had been instances of toleration on the part of the governments when the religious rights of their citizens and others had been violated. There are governments around the world which openly sponsor and tolerate restrictions on their citizens' right to practice, observe, study, or associate with other members of their religious faith. Faith is a Belief in the trustworthiness of an Idea. Formal usage of the word "faith" is usually reserved for concepts of Religion, as in
The former Assistant Secretary of State for democracy, human rights and labor, John Shattuck, cited specific countries that fail to recognize the fundamental right of religious freedom. The Assistant Secretary of State, from 1853 until 1913 was the second-ranking official within the American Department of State. Democracy is a form of government in which the supreme power is held completely by the people under a free electoral system Human rights refers to the "basic Rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled The labour movement or labor movement is a broad term for the development of a collective organization of working people, to campaign in their own interest for better John Shattuck is chief Executive Officer of the John F Kennedy Library Foundation and formerly United States Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy Human Rights and A fundamental right is a Right that has its origin in a country's Constitution or that is necessarily implied from the terms of that constitution There is a civil war ensuing in Sudan because of the ruling party's intolerance of opposing religions.  The Chinese Catholics and Chinese Protestant groups battle government repression, and the Chinese government tightly regulates religious practices in the regions of Tibet and Xinjiang. Han Chinese ( are an Ethnic group native to China and by most modern definitions the largest single Ethnic group in the world. Catholic is an Adjective derived from the Greek adjective '' / 'katholikos' meaning "whole" or "complete". Protestantism refers to the forms of Christian faith and practice that originated in the 16th century Protestant Reformation. Definitions of Tibet See also Definitions of Tibet Name In English The English word Tibet, like the word for Tibet in most European Xinjiang ( Uyghur: شىنجاڭ Shinjang;; Postal map spelling: Sinkiang; Turkish: Sincan, Sincan Uygur Özerk  Members of the Rohingya Muslim minority are forced to take refuge in the neighboring Bangladesh. The Rohingya are a Muslim Ethnic group of the Northern Rakhine State of Western Burma. A Muslim (مسلم pronounced Muslim, not Muzlim) is an adherent of the Religion ( Bengali: বাংলাদেশ inc-Latn Bangladesh) officially There are suspect cases of minority oppression in Europe as well. Russia's new religion law seeks to make restraints and inhibit new religious communities' ability to own property, publish literature or operate schools.  This Act tries to recognize such kind of blatant forms of religious discrimination and oppression. Religious discrimination is valuing or treating a person or group differently because of what they do or do not believe Oppression is the act of using power to empower and/or privilege a group at the expense of disempowering marginalizing silencing and subordinating another group It finds that over one-half of the population of the world lives under regimes that have strict policies against basic religious freedoms. The world population is the total number of living Humans on Earth at a given time Title VII of the Act has noted that some regimes engage in persecution that includes subjection of those people who engage in practice of religious faiths that are not state sponsored, to detention, torture, beatings, forced marriage, rape, imprisonment, enslavement, mass resettlement and death. Detention generally refers to a State or Government holding a person in a particular area (generally called a Detention centre) either for Interrogation Torture, according to the United Nations Convention Against Torture, is "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental is intentionally Forced marriage is a term used to describe a marriage in which one or more of the parties is married without his or her consent or against his or her will Rape, also referred to as Sexual assault, is an Assault by a person involving Sexual intercourse with or Sexual penetration of another person A prison, penitentiary, or correctional facility is a place in which individuals are physically confined or interned and usually deprived of a range of As a social-economic system slavery is a legal institution under which a Person (called "a slave" is compelled to work for another Senator Don Nickles (R-OK) in his speech to the Congress on October 2, 1998 stated:
|“||[…]this is an important aspect of the bill. Donald Lee Nickles (born December 6, 1948) is an American Businessman and political leader who was a Republican United The United States Congress is the bicameral Legislature of the federal government of the United States of America, consisting of two houses Events 1187 - Siege of Jerusalem: Saladin captures Jerusalem after 88 years of Crusader rule Year 1998 ( MCMXCVIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar) If the definition of religious persecution were limited to only torture, imprisonment, or death, […] the Act would only cover about a few countries, and would not include about 80 to 85% of the religious persecution that takes place in the world […]||”|
This Act was first introduced as H. R. 2431 by Representative Frank Wolf to the House of Representatives on September 9, 1997. Frank Rudolph Wolf (born January 30, 1939) is a career politician and a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives since The United States House of Representatives is one of the two chambers of the United States Congress; the other is the Senate. Events 1000 - Battle of Svolder, Viking Age. 1379 - Treaty of Neuberg, splitting the Austrian Year 1997 ( MCMXCVII) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1997 Gregorian calendar Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) concurrently introduced the state version of the bill, S. Arlen Specter (born February 12 1930) is the senior United States Senator from Pennsylvania and a member of the Republican Party 772. The legislation was passed on May 14, 1998, by a vote of 375-41, and was subsequently sent to the Senate. Events 1264 - Battle of Lewes: Henry III of England is captured in France making Simon de Montfort the Year 1998 ( MCMXCVIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar) Under consideration, this Act was proposed to be modified by Senator Nickles.
The primary aim of the modification was to allow the president to have more flexibility in responding to countries that violated the Act. The Nickles bill offered the president a waiver provision if he feels that it would promote the interest of the US national security to not impose measures on a designated country. The Senate agreed to the propositions on October 9, 1998, approved by H. Events 768 - Carloman I and Charlemagne are crowned Kings of The Franks. Year 1998 ( MCMXCVIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar) R. 2431 as amended by a vote of 98-0.
The Act has seven titles, each containing numerous sections. These are:
As per the Act, the Congress and the President are obligated to take into account the various issues of religious freedom while developing the country's foreign policy. As under the Title I of the Act, a bureaucratic infrastructure is created for dealing with religious issues. This is known as the Office of the International Religious Freedom which is regulated under the US Department of State. Title II creates the Commission on International Religious Freedom and Title III a special advisor to the president on international religious freedom within the National Security Council. The crux of the Act lies in Title IV. Title IV details the possible options available to the president and his actions based upon them in response to the states which violate the provisions under the Act. Under Sec. 401(b)(1), the President shall identify specific countries that the Commission on International Religious Freedom designates as having obstructed religious freedom. The president must then, with the consultation of the secretary of state, the ambassador at large, the National Security Council special advisor, and the commission, design a response to those countries. 
Countries that are severe violators of religious freedom are categorized under Sec 402 of the Act and this subjects them to punitive sanctions which are listed in Sec. 405. Under this section, the president must either enter into a binding agreement with the concerned country to end the religious persecution, or to choose from remedies outlined in Sec. 405 of the Act. This section offers the president with fifteen options to exercise against countries engaging in religious persecution. These include
Under Title IV, the president may waiver punitive measures against the concerned country. This would allow the president in balancing of the objectives of the bill with other US Foreign Policy interests. The Title V of the act seeks to promote religious freedom abroad through the way of international media, exchanges and foreign service awards for working to promote human rights. Diplomatic service is the body of Diplomats and Foreign policy officers maintained by the Government of a Country to communicate with the governments The Immigration and Naturalization Service officials are trained under the venues of Title VI of the Act. The United States Immigration and Naturalization Service ( INS) was a part of the United States Department of Justice and handled legal and illegal Immigration
The final provision of the Act, Title VII contains miscellaneous provisions, including 701, which urges transnational corporations to adopt codes of conduct sensitive to the right to freedom of religion. 
The Office of International Religious Freedom was formed under Title I of the International Religious Freedom Act, within the U. S. Department of State. This office is under a mission of promoting religious freedom as a core objective of US foreign policy. The office is headed by the Ambassador at Large John Hanford who was appointed to this position in May 2005, by the President of the United States under the aid and advice of the Senate. John V Hanford (born c 1952 is the Ambassador at Large of the Office of International Religious Freedom of the US State Department which was created under the provisions Year 2005 ( MMV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The President of the United States is the Head of state and Head of government of the United States and is the highest political official in United States by The United States Senate is the Upper house of the bicameral United States Congress, the Lower house being the House of Representatives The main functions of the Office Director and the staff monitor religious persecution and discrimination worldwide, and recommend and implement policies in respective regions or countries. 
The United States seeks to conform with international covenants that guarantee the inalienable right of religious freedom to every human being. The Act is committed to the promotion of freedom of religion and conscience throughout the world as a fundamental human right and a source of stability for all countries. Human rights refers to the "basic Rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled It further seeks to assist newly formed democracies in implementing freedom of religion and conscience. Religious and human rights non-governmental organizations are sought to promote religious freedom. Furthermore, the USA seeks to identify and denounce regimes that are severe persecutors of their citizens or others on the basis of religious beliefs. 
The Office is responsible for the monitoring of religious persecution and discrimination worldwide. Its specific activities include:
This commission is an independent nine-member, bipartisan US government agency that was created to monitor the status of freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief abroad, as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related international instruments and to give independent policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and the United States Congress. The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF is a US government agency created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to monitor the status The federal government of the United States is the central United States Governmental body established by the United States Constitution. Freedom of thought (also called freedom of conscience and freedom of ideas) is the freedom of an individual to hold or consider a fact viewpoint The Universal Declaration of Human Rights ( UDHR) is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly ( 10 December 1948 at Palais Secretary of State is a commonly used title for a Government Official. The United States Congress is the bicameral Legislature of the federal government of the United States of America, consisting of two houses  This commission is funded entirely by the federal government on an annual basis and staffed by government employees.
The Commission is responsible for determining the effect of other countries' policies on religious groups, and if necessary, holding Congressional hearings to educate Congress and the public about religious persecution around the world. The Commission may not implement sanctions on countries that violate religious freedom as it only has advisory and monitoring authority, including the authority to hold hearings. While the Department of State report contains a detailed country-by-country analysis of religious freedom, the Commission's report covers few countries, but makes policy recommendations to the executive and legislative branches of the government. The Commission report also reviews and analyzes the work of Department of State. 
The President is assigned a special advisor on international religious freedom within the National Security Council by Title III of the Act. Under the Act, the special advisor is designated to serve as a resource for executive branch officials, compiling and analyzing information on the facts and circumstances of violations of religious freedom and formulating possible US reactions to religious persecution in the light of US national security interests. In Political science and Constitutional law, the executive is the branch of government responsible for the day-to-day management of the State. The position of the director shall be comparable to that of the director within the executive office of the President. 
This Act has been justified by the US Congress on the basis of constitutional and international law principles. International law is the term commonly used for referring to the system of implicit and explicit agreements that bind together nation-states in adherence to recognized values and standards Several of the sponsors of the bill have expressed that the United States was born out of the need for religious freedom and that this principle was codified in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the United States Bill of Rights that expressly prohibits the United States Congress The First Amendment explicitly guarantees the fundamental right of religious freedom and liberty to practice any faith as according to one's choice. Their contention made, to this is that the United States has the duty to uphold this fundamental right. During a speech about the Act, on October 9, 1998, Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT), gave the reason as to why the founding fathers were drawn to America,
|“||It because of a belief that no government has the right to tell the people how to worship and certainly not the right to discriminate against them or persecute them for the way they chose to express their faith in God. Events 768 - Carloman I and Charlemagne are crowned Kings of The Franks. Joseph Isadore "Joe" Lieberman (born February 24 1942 is the junior United States Senator from Connecticut. Founding Fathers are persons instrumental in the establishment of an Institution, usually a political institution especially those connected to the origination of its Ideals||”|
Lieberman believed that by supporting this act the US Citizens could honor the country's founders for creating the first amendment to the Constitution. Article I section 8 clause 4 of the United States Constitution expressly gives the United States Congress the power to establish a uniform rule of naturalization
The principles of international law were made inherent in the act so as to clarify its commitment to promote international religious freedom. As per the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), religious freedom is one of the most fundamental human rights outlined. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights is a United Nations Treaty based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, created in This right explicitly includes the freedom to change religious faith or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance. " All the members of the United Nations have adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the virtue of their UN membership and are pledged to uphold its provisions. The United Nations ( UN) is an International organization whose stated aims are to facilitate cooperation in International law, International security This article lists the member states of the United Nations (UN. The Article 18(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was ratified with reservations in April 1992, also includes a freedom of religion clause similar to that of the UDHR's. Year 1992 ( MCMXCII) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full 1992 Gregorian calendar) The principles in the above-mentioned international law documents, according to the Act, create a sense of responsibility in its governments to protect the freedom of religion, which the Act does by exercising the United States' ability to choose its limit in dealing with countries that violate religious freedom.
The justification for this Act lies on the guarantee of freedom of religion found in the US Constitution and in principles of international law. The Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme Law of the United States. Critics of this Act would probably contend that while the US Constitution does prohibit Federal and State governments from infringing on the religious liberties of people living within the US, it does not obligate or permit the US to use embargo or military intervention as means to uphold these rights abroad.