Grothman Resolution Condemning Global Persecution of Christians Passes House Unanimously
Washington, December 12, 2017 | Bernadette Green (202-225-2476)
Congressman Glenn Grothman’s (R-Glenbeulah) bipartisan resolution condemning the persecution of Christians around the globe passed the House unanimously today.
H. Res. 407 condemns governments and religious extremist groups that target Christians and other religious minorities. Additionally, the resolution calls on discriminatory countries to cease their persecution of Christians and other religious minorities and urges the president and other world leaders to uphold the universal human right to religious freedom and condemn the global persecution of Christians.
Prior to the passage of the resolution, Grothman spoke in support of it on the House floor.
Excerpts of Grothman’s remarks
“I rise in support of my resolution, H. Res. 407, condemning the persecution of Christians around the world.
“The persecution of Christians is a global human rights problem Congress needs to address. According to Open Doors’ 2017 World Watch List, around the world, one out of 12 Christians is experiencing persecution for their faith.
“Acts of persecution against Christians across the globe is in violation of international law, which is why Congress must act.
“Sadly, in our own country, the United States, sometimes Christians can be forced to participate in ceremonies with which they don't agree. Hard to believe this is going on in the United States of America.
“H. Res. 407 will condemn the persecution of Christians around the world and calls for all discriminatory countries and extremist groups to cease their persecution of religious minorities and force leaders to uphold universal religious freedom.
“I urge my colleagues to support this resolution and yield back the remainder of my time.”
Christians are persecuted in countries across the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Americas by religious extremists and officials at all levels of government. According to Open Doors USA, an average of 214 churches and Christian properties are destroyed, 772 violent acts are committed against Christians and 322 Christians are killed because of their faith each month.
Examples of persecution mentioned in the resolution include:
· The 51 Coptic Christians who were killed by ISIS in Libya in February and March of 2015;
· Christian migrants from northern Africa who have been abducted, trafficked and forced to convert to Islam at the hands of ISIS while traveling through Libya;
· The prohibition on practicing Christianity in North Korea. Christians who are caught practicing their religion are sent to forced labor camps;
· In China, members of Christian churches that are not registered with the government risk imprisonment and torture. Additionally, in the Zhejiang Province, more than 1500 churches have been removed as part of an anti-cross campaign;
· The 600 Christian churches in Pakistan that were attacked in 2016;
· The 44 Coptic Christians who were killed by ISIS bomb attacks in Egypt on Palm Sunday of this year;
· The decline in the Christian population of Iraq from approximately 1.4 million in 2003 to approximately 275,000 in 2016.
Grothman’s resolution falls within the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights and U.S. law outlined in the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.
Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes that “everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion. This right includes freedom to change his religion 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.” The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations in 1948.
The International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 found that religious persecution is not confined to a particular region or regime and reaffirmed the commitment of the united States that religious freedom, which is the freedom of thought and conscience and the right to practice theistic and non-theistic beliefs, is the right of every individual and should never be arbitrarily abridged by any government.
U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman is serving his second term representing Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.