SENATE RESOLUTION 251--DESIGNATING OCTOBER 27, 2003, AS ``INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM DAY''
(Senate - October 23, 2003)

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[Pages S13148-S13149]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




SENATE RESOLUTION 251--DESIGNATING OCTOBER 27, 2003, AS ``INTERNATIONAL 
                        RELIGIOUS FREEDOM DAY''

  Mr. BROWNBACK (for himself, Mr. Lieberman, Mr. Dorgan, Mr. Bayh, Mrs. 
Clinton, Mr. Coleman, Mr. Craig, Mr. Crapo, Mr. Daschle, Mr. Durbin, 
Mr. Ensign, Mrs. Dole, Mr. Enzi, Mrs. Feinstein, Mr. Graham of South 
Carolina, Mr. Hatch, Mr. Inhofe, Mr. Lautenberg, Mr. Lott, Mr. Kohl, 
Ms. Murkowski, Mr. Nelson of Nebraska, Mr. Nickles, Mr. Santorum, Mr. 
Schumer, Mr. Sessions, Mr. Shelby, Mr. Smith, Mr. Specter, and Mr. 
Wyden) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and 
agreed to:

       Whereas the people of the United States enjoy and respect 
     the freedom of religion and believe that the fundamental 
     rights of all individuals shall be recognized;
       Whereas fundamental human rights, including the right to 
     freedom of thought, conscience, and religion, are protected 
     in numerous international agreements and declarations;
       Whereas religious freedom is an absolute human right and 
     all people are entitled to do with their own souls as they 
     choose;
       Whereas the right to freedom of religion is expressed in 
     the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of 
     Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief, 
     adopted and proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly 
     Resolution 36/55 of November 22, 1981; the Helsinki Accords; 
     the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, 
     done at New York on December 16, 1966, and entered into force 
     March 23, 1976; the United Nations Charter; and the Universal 
     Declaration of Human Rights, adopted and proclaimed by the 
     United Nations General Assembly Resolution 217(A)(III) of 
     December 10, 1984;
       Whereas the freedom for all individuals to adopt, believe, 
     worship, observe, teach, and practice a religion individually 
     or collectively has been explicitly articulated in Article 18 
     of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 
     18(1) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political 
     Rights;
       Whereas religious persecution is not confined to a country, 
     a region, or a regime; but whereas all governments should 
     provide and protect religious liberty;
       Whereas nearly half of the people in the world are 
     continually denied or restricted in the right to believe or 
     practice their faith;
       Whereas religious persecution often includes confinement, 
     separation, humiliation, rape, enslavement, forced 
     conversion, imprisonment, torture, and death;
       Whereas October 27, 2003, marks the 5th anniversary of the 
     signing of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 
     (22 U.S.C. 6401 et seq.), creating the Office of 
     International Religious Freedom in the Department of State 
     and the United States Commission on International Religious 
     Freedom and resulting in a greater awareness of religious 
     persecution both in the United States and abroad; and

[[Page S13149]]

       Whereas the United States recognizes the need for 
     additional domestic and international attention and action to 
     promote religious liberty: Now, therefore, be it
       Resolved, That the Senate--
       (1) designates October 27, 2003, as ``International 
     Religious Freedom Day''; and
       (2) requests that the President issue a proclamation--
       (A) calling for a renewed commitment to eliminating 
     violations of the internationally recognized right to freedom 
     of religion and protecting fundamental human rights; and
       (B) calling upon the people of the United States and 
     interested groups and organizations to observe International 
     Religious Freedom Day with appropriate ceremonies and 
     activities.

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