July 11, 2014

Kaine Applauds Senate Passage Of Bill To Create Special Envoy For Religious Minorities In The Middle East

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern, Southern and Central Asian Affairs, today applauded Senate passage of the Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act of 2013, of which he is a co-sponsor. The bill, introduced by Senators Roy Blunt, Carl Levin and Bob Casey cites growing instances of religious persecution in the Middle East and calls for the creation of a special envoy within the State Department to bring attention to the problem and advocate for religious liberty in the region. It is similar to a House bill sponsored by fellow Virginian, Congressman Frank Wolf, a longtime advocate for religious freedom around the world. 

“I’m pleased the Senate has expressed unanimous support for the appointment of a full-time special envoy for religious minorities in the Middle East,” said Kaine. “As religion-fueled tensions continue to rise in Syria, Iraq and other countries across the region, the U.S. has a key role to play in exposing human rights violations against religious minorities and helping promote religious liberty. It’s been an honor to work with fellow Virginian Congressman Frank Wolf on this important issue over the past year – he is a true champion for religious liberty and his leadership has been critical to moving this legislation forward.”