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House discusses religious freedom.

WASHINGTON * A House subcommittee hearing on a law to improve U.S. religious freedom diplomacy efforts globally prompted a discussion on how to expand those freedoms for religious minorities, particularly for those in Muslim-majority countries.

The Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act was signed into law a year ago by President Barack Obama to give "tools and resources to our State Department to integrate religious freedom into our diplomacy the world over in order to counter violent extremism abroad," Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey, chair of the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations, said at the Dec. 6 hearing.

The law's features include designating non-state groups such as the Islamic State as "violent non-state actors," making it easier to impose financial sanctions. It also creates a "designated persons list" of violators, sets up a database of those detained, imprisoned and tortured for their faith, and requires that foreign service officers undergo training in religious liberty.

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Title Annotation:UNITED STATES
Publication:National Catholic Reporter
Date:Dec 29, 2017
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