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US commission on religious freedom may be closed

Catholic World News - December 12, 2011

The US Commission on International Religious Freedom is preparing to shut down its operation, in a budget-cutting move that the commission’s chairman warns could have “catastrophic” consequences.

Congress has not authorized continued funding for the Commission on International Religious Freedom. (A bill providing funds for the commission was approved by the House of Representatives, but has been blocked in the Senate.) Unless funds are approved within the next week, the commission will be closed down.

Chairman Leonard Leo observes that at a time when religious freedom is in jeopardy in many nations, the closing of the commission could send an “absolutely shameful” message that the American government has “downgraded the importance of religious freedom in our foreign policy.”

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