Atheists Conclude Congressional Briefings on International Religious Freedom
For Immediate Release
Sarah Henry, (202) 238-9088, firstname.lastname@example.org
Matthew Bulger, (202) 238-9088, email@example.com
(Washington, D.C., October 16, 2018) – The American Humanist Association joined with other secular organizations and a panel of experts to present two informative briefings on the struggles faced by religious and nonreligious minorities and the suffering caused by blasphemy laws. The second of these briefings concluded moments ago. The congressional briefings followed the September 2018 introduction of bipartisan Senate Resolution 647 and the May 2017 introduction of House Resolution 349. Both resolutions encourage the president and the Department of State to protect religious freedom for all by working to overturn blasphemy laws in countries which maintain them.
“These resolutions will help encourage nations around the world to overturn these outdated and inhumane laws,” explains Matthew Bulger, legislative director at the American Humanist Association. Bulger continued, “Blasphemy laws not only jeopardize religious freedom, but often lead to vigilante attacks by religious extremists against religious and nontheistic minorities.”
The American Humanist Association partnered with the Center for Inquiry and the Secular Coalition for America to sponsor the briefings in both the House and Senate. Remarks were made by Representative Jamie Raskin(D-MD), co-founder of the Congressional Freethought Caucus. Expert panelists Matthew Bulger of the American Humanist Association, Matias Perttula of International Christian Concern, Sarah Haider of Ex-Muslims of North America, and Elizabeth Cassidy of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom spoke at both briefings. Additional speakers included Jay Kansara of the Hindu American Foundation, Knox Thames of the Department of State, Amjad Mahmood Khan of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, Jennifer Hawks of the Baptist Join Committee for Religious Liberty, and Robyn Blumner of the Center for Inquiry. The panels were moderated by Larry Decker of the Secular Coalition for America.
The House Briefing on International Religious Freedom was held on October 9, 2018, and the Senate Briefing on International Religious Freedom was held on October 16, 2018.
“Our briefings this session were an excellent opportunity to expand on why the protection of minority religious and nonreligious communities is so imperative,” said AHA Executive Director Roy Speckhardt. “The President and the Department of State must act to ensure the continued safety and protection of minority faith and non-faith groups in the face of international threats to religious freedom.”
View H. Res. 349 here.
View S. Res. 647 here.
The American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming worldview of humanism, which—without beliefs in gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity.