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  • Myanmar Politician Preparing to Seek Legal Limits on Interfaith, Interethnic Marriage

  • Call for Religious Leaders to Teach Acceptance in Malaysia

  • Attacks on religion, liberty

  • Can Muslim lands learn to tolerate Christianity?

  • China vents anger over Dalai Lama's planned Norway visit

  • Militia attack Muslims in Central African Republic's capital

  • Egypt’s new charter stronger on personal freedoms

  • Pussy Riot members freed from prison

  • Frank Wolf, champion of religious freedom, will end congressional career

  • A Political Deal in a Deeply Divided Tunisia as Islamists Agree to Yield Power

  • Egyptian Christians Bridle at Prison Terms for Copts Only in Fatal Clash

  • The Central African Republic descending into ‘complete chaos’

  • French burqa ban challenged in top European court

  • Sharia in Sudan v. women and religious freedom

  • China aims to harness religious beliefs to promote harmony

  • Afghanistan Considers Reinstating Public Stoning for Adultery

  • Sunnis Close Baghdad Mosques to Challenge Religious Attacks

  • Modi campaign stirs religious divide in India's heartland

  • Aung San Suu Kyi, and Myanmar, faces an uncertain future

  • Syrian Christians flee persecution as Patriarch urges them to stay in war-torn country

  • Central African Republic on the verge of genocide, France warns UN

  • Myanmar rejects U.N. resolution on Rohingya Muslims

  • How the State Department Is Getting Religion

  • UN to Myanmar: Make Rohingya Muslims citizens

  • Our Failed Religious Freedom Policy

  • Turkey drops a screen over Christianity

  • Opinion: The oppression of Bahais continues in Iran

  • TAJIKISTAN: "The Law demands that all religious literature be checked by the State"

  • Sudan’s Enduring Question: The Role of Shari'ah in the Constitution and Law

  • The Role of the Hijab Is Becoming a National Problem for Russia

  • For Indian Christian leader, Narendra Modi is a threat to religious freedom

  • Commentary: The two faces of India

  • With 'loving kindness', Myanmar frees 69 political prisoners

  • New U.N. Rights Council Members Are Elected

  • Turkish court lifts headscarf ban for attorneys

  • Egypt's Christians close ranks as kidnappings spike

  • Hundreds of Buddhists in Myanmar protest Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s upcoming visit

  • Frank Wolf Renews Calls for Release of U.S. Pastor from Iranian Prison

  • Many Sunnis and Shias Worry About Religious Conflict

  • China paper blames blind faith of “uncultured” Uighur youth for Xinjiang unrest

  • Turkey's Alevis protest for greater freedoms

  • KAZAKHSTAN: "He was told not to sell religious literature"

  • Myanmar violence between Buddhists, Muslims threatens reforms

  • UZBEKISTAN: Baptist camp ordered seized, Protestant pressured to inform

  • Tibetans Call China’s Policies at Tourist Spot Tacit but Stifling

  • Violence against Muslims threatening Myanmar reforms: U.N. envoy

  • Putin says unnamed foreign foes use radical Islam to weaken Russia

  • Malaysia’s curbs on use of the term ‘Allah’ hurting its moderate Muslim image

  • Vietnamese Court Orders Two Parishioners of Vinh Diocese Jailed

  • Opinion:State Department stays mute on persecuted religious minorities worldwide

  • Turkey, Religious Freedom and the Current State of Christian-Muslim Dialogue (1895)

  • In Nigeria, Wedlock Seen as Terror Fix

  • Northern Iraq no longer safe for Christians

  • Clerics call on UN military force to secure Central African Republic

  • EU condemns Egypt church violence, urges end to religion-based attacks

  • Young Turkish Jews emigrating due to anti-Semitism, tensions with Israel

  • Egypt orders trial of four policemen over killing of Islamist detainees

  • Passion of Pakistani Sufis infuriates Taliban

  • Egyptian writer may face jail for accusations of defaming religion

  • UN expert hails “key breakthrough for religious freedom reached in Cyprus”

  • Kenneth Bae's mother tells of heartbreak after seeing, leaving imprisoned son

  • Conviction of Christians for Murder of Hindu Leader in India Biased, Unfounded, Attorneys Say

  • Opera Fights Hungary’s Rising Anti-Semitism

  • Buddhists and Christians denounce Hanoi for using law to control religions

  • ARMENIA: "Imprisoned conscientious objectors should be immediately and unconditionally released"

  • Bombs planted in confessional box of Syrian church

  • French court upholds Scientology fraud conviction

  • Suzan Johnson Cook to resign as religious freedom ambassador

  • BELARUS: Why is Catholic priest still detained by KGB secret police?

  • Q&A: What Court Decision on Use of ‘Allah’ Means for Malaysia

  • The Surprising Story Of 'Thomas Jefferson's Qur'an'

  • Religious tension runs deep for Vietnam’s minorities

  • Malala Yousafzai wins EU's Sakharov human rights prize

  • Religious liberty takes center stage in diplomacy with Iran

  • Turban row: Sikh NGO wins case against France at UN

  • Vietnam Lets Churches Thrive, but Keeps Control

  • KAZAKHSTAN: Pastor to be transferred from prison to house arrest

  • Kenya Salvation Army Church Torched; Four Killed

  • Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng gets U.S. platform to promote human rights

  • Orthodox leader calls for end Christians' persecution

  • Jewish groups slam Council of Europe Assembly resolution on circumcision

  • Opinion: Quebec’s coup d’etat against religious freedom

  • Small town, big impact: Supreme Court case could define religion’s role in public

  • European council passes anti-ritual circumcision resolution

  • Council of Muftis complain to U.S. reps about disrespect for Muslims in Russia

  • Woman, 94, killed as Buddhist rioters attack Muslim villages in western Myanmar

  • RUSSIA: What's wrong with "extremist" Koran translation?

  • Persecution against Christians increases in many parts of the world

  • How Promotion of Religious Freedom Can Help Prevent Extreme Violence

  • RUSSIA: Muslims rush to challenge Koran "extremism" ruling

  • Judge Ordered Sikh to Remove 'That Rag' from Head, Says ACLU

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    Congressman GUs BilirakisRep. Gus Bilirakis, Florida Republican, told the group, “Religious persecution has personally touched me. My godmother was forced out of Turkey because of religious her beliefs. That is one of the reasons I got into public service and into the International Religious Freedom Caucus of Congress.” Bilirakis commended the Times for its coverage of religious groups under repression.

    Also sponsored by the Washington Times Foundation, the Universal Peace Federation, and the American Clergy Leadership Conference, the conference brought disparate groups together under its common theme of bringing an end to religious repression and persecution. Tina Ramirez, director of government religions of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, headed a panel that featured reports from Hindus, Greek Orthodox Christians, Uyghur Muslims and Protestants from China, Sikhs and Muslims in the US, Christians from Egypt and Pakistan, Scientologists, Bahai’s and Ahmidyya Muslims. “The problem is that no faith community is safe,” said Ms. Ramirez. “You might be the persecutor in one but the persecuted in another. So, unfortunately, religious persecution knows no bounds.”

    Dr. Suzan Johnson CookDr. Suzan Johnson Cook, the newly confirmed US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, told the gathering: “I look forward to partnering with you. I want to hear from each of you, and you can be sure that I am an ambassador that you can reach.” Ambassador Cook, who traveled later that day to Turkey on a fact-finding and diplomatic mission, declared that “Everyone should have the right to believe or not believe. That is their God-given right.”

    ICRF President Dan Fefferman headed a panel of non-government organization leaders including Barrett Duke of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, Lisa Sferrazza of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, Rev. Skip L’Heureux of the National Council of Churches’ Religious Liberty Committee and Joseph Grieboski of the Institute for Religion and Public Policy.

    Several speakers urged the strengthening of the U.S. International Religious Freedom Act in a bill proposed to Congress by Rep. Frank R. Wolf that would give more power to the State Department to advocate for religious freedom abroad. The bill, HR 1856, also reauthorizes the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, whose mandate expires soon.

    Rev. In Jin MoonThe plight of persecuted Unificationists in Japan who have been abducted and subjected to forced conversion was reported by Rev. In Jin Moon, president of the Unification Church USA, who gave the keynote address at lunch. “In Japan 4,300 of our [Unificationist] brothers and sisters have been incarcerated and have suffered mental, emotional, physical and many times sexual abuse,” she reported. Ms. Moon, who is the daughter of church founder Rev. Sun Myung Moon and a graduate of Harvard Divinity School, recounted her own painful high-school years when she was ridiculed daily as a “Moonie” and a “brainwashed zombie,” by students who blew wads of paper at her and her brothers and sisters.

    “I saw firsthand how cruel and unjust religious persecution can be,” she continued. “There were numerous occasions where I was belittled at school. I was something ugly, something sub-human. Yet I remember my father saying to me: ‘Hold your head high, know that you are a daughter of God.’”

    “We can truly inherit the understanding that we are God's,” she said. “We need to encourage, empower and support each other in our efforts.”


    Concluding the event was an afternoon session in which media experts briefed participants in effective communication tools. Moderated by Washington Times president Tom McDevitt, the panel included Times editorial page editor Brett Decker, columnist and media analyst Jennifer Harper and marketing expert Carter Clews.