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Rubio Receives A+ from International Religious Freedom (IRF)
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) received an A+ rating from the 21Wilberforce’s International Religious Freedom (IRF) Congressional Scorecard for his continued defense and promotion of religious freedom worldwide. Rubio, author of the bill which reauthorized the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), earned the Senate’s top score in the 116th Congress (2019-2020) according to 21Wilberforce’s nonpartisan scorecard.
“Embattled religious minorities and dissenting members of majority religious communities suffer extraordinary pressures — even genocide— as the essential freedom of religion deteriorates worldwide. Defending the fundamental right to conscience is a leading challenge of our time,” 21Wilberforce said. “We recognize and thank members of Congress who have championed international religious freedom in tangible ways and encourage legislators to take even bolder actions in support of freedom of religion or belief around the world,” 21Wilberforce concluded.
“The freedom to practice or live out one’s faith according to one’s conscience is a sacred right that no government has the authority to take away. Tragically, this fundamental human right remains under constant assault around the world,” Rubio said. “I am proud to continue to advance policies that ensure protections for freedom of religion and belief, as well as impose serious consequences on the governments and non-state actors who engage in gross abuses of religious freedom.”
Rubio is the Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations’ Subcommittee overseeing Human Rights.
Rubio-led legislation in defense of religious freedom worldwide during the 116th Congress:
- Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020, first introduced in 2019, this bill was signed into law by former President Donald Trump (P.L. 116-145). S.3744 was the first piece of legislation regarding Uyghurs in the world to be signed into law.
- United States Commission on International Religious Freedom Reauthorization Act of 2019 (S.2503), this bill was signed into law and reauthorized the bipartisan commission that monitors the right to freedom of religion internationally.
- Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2019 (S.2539), this bipartisan and bicameral bill was signed into law by former President Donald Trump in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (P.L. 116-260). This bill seeks to address emerging human rights, religious freedom, and other challenges faced by the Tibetan people.
- Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 (S. 1838), this bipartisan bill was signed into law by former President Donald Trump (P.L. 116-76) and reaffirms the United State’s commitment to democracy, human rights, and the rule of law at a time when Hong Kong’s autonomy remains under assault due to the interference of the Chinese government and Communist Party.
- Saudi Educational Transparency and Reform Act (S.357), this bipartisan bill would require the Department of State to report on religious intolerance in education materials and curriculums distributed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
- Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (S.65), first introduced in 2020, this bipartisan bill seeks to ensure that goods made with Uyghur forced labor in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) do not enter the United States.
- World Press Freedom Protection and Reciprocity Act (S.3818), first introduced in 2020, this bipartisan bill seeks to protect and promote worldwide press freedom and enhance reciprocity for U.S. news and media outlets.
- Resolution on Tiananmen Square massacre and in condemnation of Hong Kong’s National Security Law (S.Res.608), in this bipartisan and bicameral resolution, the Senate and House resolved to continue the commemoration of this tragic event until the Chinese people are able to do so freely, without censorship or harassment.