Summary: H.R.5846 — 113th Congress (2013-2014)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.5846. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (12/10/2014)

Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act of 2014 - Amends the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRFA) to locate the Office on International Religious Freedom in the Office of the Secretary of State.

Directs the Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom to seek to coordinate religious freedom policies and religious engagement strategies across all U.S. programs, projects, and activities.

Specifies additional foreign government actions violating religious freedom for the Ambassador's Annual Report on International Religious Freedom, including a Special Watch List of countries or violent nonstate actors that have engaged in or tolerated such violations but do not yet meet the criteria for designation as countries of particular concern for religious freedom.

Amends the Foreign Service Act of 1980 to direct the Secretary to develop a curriculum for, and the Director of the George P. Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center to begin, mandatory training on religious freedom for all Foreign Service officers.

Amends the IRFA to require the Commission on International Religious Freedom to compile and make publicly available regularly updated lists of persons imprisoned, detained, disappeared, placed under house arrest, tortured, or subject to forced renunciations of faith by: (1) a foreign government recommended for designation as a country of particular concern for religions freedom, or (2) a violent nonstate actor.

Makes it a primary responsibility of the Commission to make annual recommendations on such countries and violent nonstate actors as well as specific policy responses or actions that may be taken regarding them.

Amends the National Security Act of 1947 to establish within the National Security Council a permanent Interagency Policy Committee on Religious Freedom and Engagement headed by a presidentially appointed Senior Director for Global Religion Engagement and International Religious Freedom Promotion, who shall develop and coordinate religious freedom policies and religion engagement strategies throughout the executive branch.

Amends the IRFA to revise requirements, including reporting requirements, for presidential actions with respect to country and violent nonstate actor designations, in particular those countries on the Special Watch List.

Declares the sense of Congress that:

  • ongoing and persistent waivers for designated countries, especially those engaging in particularly severe violations of religious freedom, do not fulfill IRFA purposes;
  • the President, the Secretary of State, and other executive branch officials, in consultation with Congress, should seek to find ways to address existing violations, on a country-by-country basis, through specified actions; and
  • the country of particular concern for religious freedom designation should apply also to violent nonstate actors.

Repeals the automatic termination of a presidential designation after two years.

Makes funds available for FY2016-FY2021 for the Human Rights and Democracy Fund.

Establishes in the State Department the Religious Freedom Defense Fund, to be administered by the Ambassador at Large.

Authorizes the President to exercise specified authority to sanction persons responsible for committing particularly severe violations of international religious freedom.

Declares the sense of Congress about: (1) adoption of codes of conduct by U.S. institutions of higher education outside the United States, and (2) national security strategy to promote religious freedom through U.S. foreign policy.

Directs the Comptroller General to report to the appropriate congressional committees on whether Nigeria, Pakistan, and Vietnam meet the criteria for designation as countries of particular concern for religious freedom.