At the European Parliament today, the Dignitatis Humanae Institute praised an influential commission in the United States that monitors violations of religious freedom worldwide.
On welcoming to the European Parliament Leonard Leo, Chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), Nirj Deva MEP, President of the International Committee on Human Dignity, described Mr Leo as “one of the most prominent campaigners for the promotion of religious liberty in the world today.”
Mr Deva added: “His visit to Europe provides the opportunity to encourage an international debate. USCIRF plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the United States rises to the hopes of millions of oppressed people around the world, by keeping the issue of human rights firmly at the core of US foreign policy. I would encourage all my legislator colleagues, across all nations, to seriously reflect on the reports brought forward by USCIRF.”
Speaking after his private briefing with Mr Deva, Leonard Leo said: “The challenge of advancing religious freedom across the globe is insurmountable for any one organisation. Thus, there is an increasing need for ever greater cooperation between peoples towards a better coordinated and targeted action.”
Mr Leo added: “Nirj Deva has long been at the forefront of promoting harmony between peoples of different faiths, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to his role as President of the International Committee on Human Dignity. I look forward to sharing ideas and contributing to this discussion.”
During his visit to Europe, on Wednesday 30th November Leonard Leo will be addressing the UK’s Cross Party Working Group on Human Dignity on the topic of “Religious Freedom, Sharia Law, and Human Dignity.” The meeting is open to the public.
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Notes to editors:
* USCIRF (www.uscirf.gov) is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission. USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by the President and the leadership of both political parties in the Senate and the House of Representatives. USCIRF’s principal responsibilities are to review the facts and circumstances of violations of religious freedom internationally and to make policy recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and Congress.
* Nirj Deva is Vice President of the European Parliament’s Development Committee, responsible for the world’s largest overseas development budget.