FRANK R. WOLF INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ACT
(House of Representatives - May 16, 2016)

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[Congressional Record Volume 162, Number 77 (Monday, May 16, 2016)]
[Pages H2399-H2406]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




           FRANK R. WOLF INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ACT

  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill 
(H.R. 1150) to amend the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to 
improve the ability of the United States to advance religious freedom 
globally through enhanced diplomacy, training, counterterrorism, and 
foreign assistance efforts, and through stronger and more flexible 
political responses to religious freedom violations and violent 
extremism worldwide, and for other purposes, as amended.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 1150

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE AND TABLE OF CONTENTS.

       (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Frank R. 
     Wolf International Religious Freedom Act''.
       (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act 
     is as follows:

Sec. 1. Short title and table of contents.
Sec. 2. Findings; Policy.
Sec. 3. Definitions.

                TITLE I--DEPARTMENT OF STATE ACTIVITIES

Sec. 101. Office on International Religious Freedom; Ambassador at 
              Large for International Religious Freedom.
Sec. 102. Annual Report on International Religious Freedom.
Sec. 103. Training for Foreign Service officers; report.
Sec. 104. Prisoner lists and issue briefs on religious freedom 
              concerns.

                  TITLE II--NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL

Sec. 201. Special Adviser for International Religious Freedom.

                    TITLE III--PRESIDENTIAL ACTIONS

Sec. 301. Non-state actor designations.
Sec. 302. Presidential actions in response to particularly severe 
              violations of religious freedom.
Sec. 303. Report to Congress.
Sec. 304. Presidential waiver.
Sec. 305. Publication in the Federal Register.

                TITLE IV--PROMOTION OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

Sec. 401. Assistance for promoting religious freedom.

TITLE V--DESIGNATED PERSONS LIST FOR PARTICULARLY SEVERE VIOLATIONS OF 
                           RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

Sec. 501. Designated Persons List for Particularly Severe Violations of 
              Religious Freedom.

                   TITLE VI--MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

Sec. 601. Miscellaneous provisions.
Sec. 602. Clerical amendments.

     SEC. 2. FINDINGS; POLICY.

       (a) Findings.--Section 2(a) of the International Religious 
     Freedom Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 6401(a)) is amended--
       (1) in paragraph (3), by inserting immediately prior to the 
     penultimate sentence the following new sentence: ``The 
     freedom of thought, conscience, and religion is understood to 
     protect theistic and non-theistic beliefs as well as the 
     right not to profess or practice any religion.''; and
       (2) in paragraph (6)--
       (A) by inserting ``and the specific targeting of non-
     theists, humanists, and atheists because of their beliefs'' 
     after ``religious persecution''; and
       (B) by inserting ``and in regions where non-state actors 
     exercise significant political power and influence'' after 
     ``religious majorities''.
       (b) Policy.--Section 2(b) of the International Religious 
     Freedom Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 6401(b)) is amended by adding 
     at the end the following new paragraph:
       ``(6) Because the promotion of international religious 
     freedom protects human rights, advances democracy abroad, and 
     advances United States interests in stability, security, and 
     development globally, the promotion of international 
     religious freedom requires new and evolving policies, and 
     diplomatic responses that are drawn from the expertise of the 
     national security agencies, the diplomatic services, and 
     other governmental agencies and nongovernmental 
     organizations, and are coordinated across and carried out by 
     the entire range of Federal agencies.''.

     SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.

       Section 3 of the International Religious Freedom Act of 
     1998 (22 U.S.C. 6402) is amended--
       (1) in paragraph (13)--
       (A) in subparagraph (A)--
       (i) by redesignating clauses (iv) and (v) as clauses (v) 
     and (vi), respectively; and
       (ii) by inserting after clause (iii) the following:
       ``(iv) not professing a particular religion, or any 
     religion;''; and
       (B) in subparagraph (B)--
       (i) by inserting ``conscience, non-theistic views, or'' 
     before ``religious belief or practice''; and
       (ii) by inserting after ``forced religious conversion'' the 
     following: ``, forcibly compelling non-believers or non-
     theists to recant their beliefs or to convert''; and
       (2) by adding at the end, the following new paragraphs:
       ``(14) Special watch list.--The term `Special Watch List' 
     means the Special Watch List as contained in the Executive 
     Summary to the Annual Report and described in section 
     102(b)(1)(F)(iii).
       ``(15) Non-state actor.--The term `non-state actor' means a 
     nonsovereign entity that exercises significant political 
     power and is able to exert influence at a national or 
     international level but does not belong to or ally itself to 
     any particular country and often employs illegal violence in 
     pursuit of its objectives.
       ``(16) Institution of higher education.--The term 
     `institution of higher education' has the meaning given that 
     term in section 101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 
     U.S.C. 1001)''.

                TITLE I--DEPARTMENT OF STATE ACTIVITIES

     SEC. 101. OFFICE ON INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM; 
                   AMBASSADOR AT LARGE FOR INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS 
                   FREEDOM.

       (a) In General.--Section 101 of the International Religious 
     Freedom Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 6411) is amended--
       (1) in subsection (b), by adding at the end before the 
     period the following: ``, and shall report directly to the 
     Secretary of State'';
       (2) in subsection (c)--

[[Page H2400]]

       (A) in paragraph (1)--
       (i) by striking ``responsibility'' and inserting 
     ``responsibilities'';
       (ii) by striking ``shall be to advance'' and inserting the 
     following: ``shall be to--
       ``(A) advance'';
       (iii) in subparagraph (A) (as so added), by striking the 
     period at the end and inserting ``; and''; and
       (iv) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:
       ``(B) integrate United States international religious 
     freedom policies and strategies into the foreign policy 
     efforts of the United States.'';
       (B) in paragraph (2), by inserting ``the principal adviser 
     to'' before ``the Secretary of State'';
       (C) in paragraph (3)--
       (i) in subparagraph (A), by striking ``and'' at the end;
       (ii) in subparagraph (B), by striking the period at the end 
     and inserting ``; and''; and
       (iii) by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:
       ``(C) contacts with nongovernmental organizations that have 
     an impact on the state of religious freedom in their 
     respective societies or regions, or internationally.'';
       (D) by redesignating paragraph (4) as paragraph (5); and
       (E) by inserting after paragraph (3) the following new 
     paragraph:
       ``(4) Coordination responsibilities.--In order to promote 
     religious freedom as an interest of United States foreign 
     policy, the Ambassador at Large--
       ``(A) shall coordinate international religious freedom 
     policies across all programs, projects, and activities of the 
     United States; and
       ``(B) should participate in any interagency processes on 
     issues in which the promotion of international religious 
     freedom policy can advance United States national security 
     interests, including in democracy promotion, stability, 
     security, and development globally.''; and
       (3) in subsection (d), by striking ``staff for the Office'' 
     and all that follows through the period at the end and 
     inserting ``individuals to fill at least 25 full-time 
     equivalent staff positions, and any other temporary staff 
     positions as needed to compile, edit, and manage the Annual 
     Report under the direct supervision of the Ambassador at 
     Large, and for the conduct of investigations by the Office 
     and for necessary travel to carry out the provisions of this 
     Act. The Secretary of State should also provide to the 
     Ambassador at Large funds that are sufficient to carry out 
     the duties described in this section, including as necessary 
     representation funds, in amounts comparable to those provided 
     to other Ambassadors at Large in the Department of State.''.
       (b) Sense of Congress.--Because international religious 
     freedom is a vital foreign policy interest and one that needs 
     coordination across many regional bureaus and among Special 
     Envoys and Special Representatives with overlapping mandates, 
     the Secretary of State should consider elevating the office 
     of International Religious Freedom and the position of the 
     Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom to 
     the Office of the Secretary, similar to other Ambassador-at-
     Large positions that now report directly to the Secretary. 
     Providing the Office of International Religious Freedom with 
     additional resources and status will demonstrate both the 
     strategic importance of international religious freedom 
     policy within the State Department bureaucracy and show 
     persecuted religious groups globally that the U.S. gives 
     priority to the protection and promotion of international 
     religious freedom as mandated by the International Religious 
     Freedom Act of 1998.

     SEC. 102. ANNUAL REPORT ON INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM.

       (a) In General.--Section 102(b)(1) of the International 
     Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 6412(b)(1)) is 
     amended--
       (1) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by striking 
     ``September 1'' and inserting ``May 1'';
       (2) in subparagraph (A)--
       (A) by redesignating clause (iv) as clause (vii); and
       (B) by inserting after clause (iii) the following new 
     clauses:
       ``(iv) particularly severe violations of religious freedom 
     in that country in the case of a foreign country with respect 
     to which a government does not exist or the government does 
     not control its territory;
       ``(v) an identification of prisoners in that country 
     pursuant to section 108;
       ``(vi) any action taken by the government of that country 
     to censor religious content, communications, or worship 
     activities online, including descriptions of the targeted 
     religious group, the content, communication, or activities 
     censored, and the means used.'';
       (3) in subparagraph (B), in the matter preceding clause 
     (i)--
       (A) by inserting ``persecution of lawyers, politicians, or 
     other human rights advocates seeking to defend the rights of 
     members of religious groups or highlight religious freedom 
     violations, prohibitions on ritual animal slaughter or male 
     infant circumcision,'' after ``entire religions,''; and
       (B) by inserting ``policies that ban or restrict the public 
     manifestation of religious belief and the peaceful 
     involvement of religious groups or their members in the 
     political life of each such foreign country,'' after ``such 
     groups,'';
       (4) in subparagraph (C)--
       (A) by striking ``A description'' and inserting ``A 
     comprehensive description'';
       (B) by striking ``policies in support'' and inserting 
     ``diplomatic and political coordination efforts, and other 
     policies in support''; and
       (C) by adding at the end before the period the following: 
     ``, and a comprehensive and country-specific analysis of the 
     impact of actions by the United States on the status of 
     religious freedom in each such country''; and
       (5) in subparagraph (F)--
       (A) in clause (i)--
       (i) by striking ``section 402(b)(1)'' and inserting 
     ``section 402(b)(1)(B)(i)''; and
       (ii) by adding at the end the following: ``Any country in 
     which a non-state actor designated as an entity of particular 
     concern for religious freedom under section 301 of the Frank 
     R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act is located shall 
     be included in this section of the report.''
       (B) by adding at the end the following new clause:
       ``(iii) Special watch list.--A list, to be known as the 
     `Special Watch List', which shall identify each country that 
     engages in or tolerates severe violations of religious 
     freedom during the previous year but which the President 
     determines does not meet, at the time of the publication of 
     the Annual Report, all of the criteria described in section 
     3(11) for designation under section 402(b)(1).''.
       (b) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that--
       (1) the original intent of the International Religious 
     Freedom Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 6401 et seq.) was to require 
     annual reports from both the Department of State and the 
     Commission on International Religious Freedom to be delivered 
     each year, during the same calendar year, and with at least 5 
     months separating these reports, in order to provide updated 
     information for policy-makers, Members of Congress, and 
     nongovernmental organizations; and
       (2) given that the annual Country Reports on Human Rights 
     Practices no longer contain updated information on religious 
     freedom conditions globally, it is important that the 
     Department of State and the Commission work together to 
     fulfill the original intent of the International Religious 
     Freedom Act of 1998.

     SEC. 103. TRAINING FOR FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICERS; REPORT.

       (a) Amendment to Foreign Service Act of 1980.--Section 708 
     of the Foreign Service Act of 1980 (22 U.S.C. 4028) is 
     amended--
       (1) by redesignating subsections (b) and (c) as subsections 
     (d) and (e), respectively;
       (2) in subsection (d), as redesignated, by striking ``The 
     Secretary of State'' and inserting ``Refugees.--The Secretary 
     of State'';
       (3) in subsection (e), as redesignated, by striking ``The 
     Secretary of State'' and inserting ``Child Soldiers.--The 
     Secretary of State'';
       (4) by striking subsection (a) and inserting the following:
       ``(a) Development of Curriculum.--
       ``(1) In general.--The Secretary of State shall develop a 
     curriculum for training United States Foreign Service 
     officers in the scope and strategic value of international 
     religious freedom, how violations of international religious 
     freedom harm fundamental United States interests, how the 
     advancement of international religious freedom can advance 
     such interests, how United States international religious 
     freedom policy should be carried out in practice by United 
     States diplomats and other Foreign Service officers, and the 
     relevance and relationship of international religious freedom 
     to United States defense, diplomacy, development, and public 
     affairs efforts. The Secretary of State shall ensure the 
     availability of sufficient resources to develop and implement 
     such curriculum.
       ``(2) Role of other officials.--The Secretary of State 
     shall carry out paragraph (1)--
       ``(A) with the assistance of the Ambassador at Large for 
     International Religious Freedom appointed under section 
     101(b) of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998;
       ``(B) in coordination with the Director of the George P. 
     Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center and other 
     Federal officials as appropriate; and
       ``(C) in consultation with the United States Commission on 
     International Religious Freedom established in section 201(a) 
     of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 and other 
     relevant stakeholders.
       ``(b) Training Program.--Not later than the date that is 
     one year after the date of the enactment of the Frank R. Wolf 
     International Religious Freedom Act, the Director of the 
     George P. Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center 
     shall begin mandatory training on religious freedom for all 
     Foreign Service officers, including all entry level officers, 
     all officers prior to departure for posting outside the 
     United States, and all outgoing deputy chiefs of mission and 
     ambassadors. Such training shall, at minimum, be a separate, 
     independent, and required segment of each of the following:
       ``(1) The A-100 course attended by all Foreign Service 
     officers.
       ``(2) The courses required of every Foreign Service officer 
     prior to a posting outside the United States, with segments 
     tailored to the particular religious demography, religious 
     freedom conditions, and United States strategies for 
     advancing religious freedom, in each receiving country.

[[Page H2401]]

       ``(3) The courses required of all outgoing deputy chiefs of 
     mission and ambassadors.
       ``(c) Information Sharing.--The curriculum and training 
     materials developed pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) 
     should be made available to all other Federal agencies.''.
       (b) Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date of the 
     enactment of this Act, the Secretary of State, with the 
     assistance of the Ambassador at Large for International 
     Religious Freedom, and the Director of the George P. Shultz 
     National Foreign Affairs Training Center, shall submit to the 
     Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives 
     and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate a report 
     containing a comprehensive plan for undertaking training for 
     Foreign Service officers as required under section 708 of the 
     Foreign Services Act of 1980, as amended by subsection (a) of 
     this section.

     SEC. 104. PRISONER LISTS AND ISSUE BRIEFS ON RELIGIOUS 
                   FREEDOM CONCERNS.

       Section 108 of the International Religious Freedom Act of 
     1998 (22 U.S.C. 6417) is amended--
       (1) in subsection (b), by striking ``faith'' and inserting 
     ``activities, religious freedom advocacy, or efforts to 
     protect and advance the universally-recognized right to the 
     freedom of religion,'';
       (2) in subsection (c), by striking ``, as appropriate, 
     provide'' and insert ``make available''; and
       (3) by adding at the end the following new subsection:
       ``(d) Victims List Maintained by the United States 
     Commission on International Religious Freedom.--
       ``(1) In general.--The Commission shall make publicly 
     available online and in official publications lists of 
     persons it determines are imprisoned, detained, disappeared, 
     placed under house arrest, tortured, or subject to forced 
     renunciations of faith for their religious activity or 
     religious freedom advocacy by the government of a foreign 
     country that the Commission recommends for designation as a 
     country of particular concern for religious freedom under 
     section 402(b)(1) or by a non-state actor that the Commission 
     recommends for designation as an entity of particular concern 
     for religious freedom under section 301 of the Frank R. Wolf 
     International Religious Freedom Act and include as much 
     publicly-available information as possible on the conditions 
     and circumstances of such persons.
       ``(2) Discretion.--In compiling such lists, the Commission 
     shall exercise all appropriate discretion, including 
     consideration of the safety and security of, and benefit to, 
     the persons who may be included on the lists and the families 
     of such persons.''.

                  TITLE II--NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL

     SEC. 201. SPECIAL ADVISER FOR INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS 
                   FREEDOM.

       Section 101 of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 
     3021) is amended by striking subsection (k) and inserting the 
     following:
       ``(k) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that 
     there should be within the staff of the National Security 
     Council a Special Adviser to the President on International 
     Religious Freedom, whose position should be comparable to 
     that of a director within the Executive Office of the 
     President, with the primary responsibility to serve as a 
     resource for executive branch officials on international 
     religious freedom, compiling and maintaining information on 
     the facts and circumstances of violations of religious 
     freedom (as defined in section 3 of the International 
     Religious Freedom Act of 1998), and making relevant policy 
     recommendations to advance United States international 
     religious freedom policy. The Special Advisor should also 
     assist the Ambassador-at-Large to coordinate international 
     religious freedom policies and strategies throughout the 
     executive branch and within any interagency policy committees 
     where the Ambassador-at-Large participates.''.

                    TITLE III--PRESIDENTIAL ACTIONS

     SEC. 301. NON-STATE ACTOR DESIGNATIONS.

       (a) In General.--The President shall, concurrent with the 
     annual foreign country review required by section 402(b)(1) 
     of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 
     6442(b)(1))--
       (1) review and identify any non-state actors operating in 
     any such reviewed country or surrounding region that have 
     engaged in particularly severe violations of religious 
     freedom; and
       (2) designate, in a manner consistent with such Act, each 
     such non-state actor as an entity of particular concern for 
     religious freedom.
       (b) Report.--Whenever the President designates a non-state 
     actor under subsection (a) as an entity of particular concern 
     for religious freedom, the President shall, as soon as 
     practicable after the designation is made, submit to the 
     appropriate congressional committees a report detailing the 
     reasons for such designation.
       (c) Actions.--The President should take specific actions to 
     address severe violations of religious freedom of non-state 
     actors that are designated under subsection (a), including 
     taking actions commensurate to those actions described in 
     section 405 of the International Religious Freedom Act of 
     1998 (22 U.S.C. 6445).
       (d) Department of State Annual Report.--The Secretary of 
     State should include information detailing the reasons the 
     President designated a non-state actor as an entity of 
     particular concern for religious freedom under subsection (a) 
     in the Annual Report required in section 102(b)(1) of the 
     International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 
     6442(b)(1)).
       (e) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that 
     the Secretary of State should work with Congress to create 
     new political, financial, and diplomatic tools to address 
     severe violations of religious freedom by non-state actors 
     and to update the actions the President can take in section 
     405 of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.
       (f) Determinations of Responsible Parties.--In order to 
     appropriately target Presidential actions under the 
     International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 in response, the 
     President shall with respect to each non-state actor 
     designated as an entity of particular concern for religious 
     freedom under subsection (a), seek to determine the specific 
     officials or members thereof that are responsible for the 
     particularly severe violations of religious freedom engaged 
     in or tolerated by that entity.
       (g) Definitions.--In this section, the terms ``appropriate 
     congressional committees'', ``non-state actor'', and 
     ``particularly severe violations of religious freedom'' have 
     the meanings given such terms in section 3 of the 
     International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 6402), 
     as amended by section 3 of this Act.

     SEC. 302. PRESIDENTIAL ACTIONS IN RESPONSE TO PARTICULARLY 
                   SEVERE VIOLATIONS OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM.

       Section 402 of the International Religious Freedom Act of 
     1998 (22 U.S.C. 6442) is amended--
       (1) in subsection (b)--
       (A) in paragraph (1)--
       (i) by amending subparagraph (A) to read as follows:
       ``(A) In general.--Not later than 90 days after the date on 
     which each Annual Report is submitted under section 102(b), 
     the President shall--
       ``(i) review the status of religious freedom in each 
     foreign country to determine whether the government of that 
     country has engaged in or tolerated particularly severe 
     violations of religious freedom in each such country during 
     the preceding 12 months or longer; and
       ``(ii) designate each country the government of which has 
     engaged in or tolerated violations described in clause (i) as 
     a country of particular concern for religious freedom.''; and
       (ii) in subparagraph (C), by striking ``September 1 of the 
     respective year'' and inserting ``the date on which each 
     Annual Report is submitted under section 102(b)'';
       (B) by amending paragraph (3) to read as follows:
       ``(3) Congressional notification.--
       ``(A) In general.--Whenever the President designates a 
     country as a country of particular concern for religious 
     freedom under paragraph (1)(A), the President shall, not 
     later than 90 days after the designation is made, transmit to 
     the appropriate congressional committees--
       ``(i) the designation of the country, signed by the 
     President;
       ``(ii) the identification, if any, of responsible parties 
     determined under paragraph (2); and
       ``(iii) a description of the actions taken under subsection 
     (c), the purposes of the actions taken, and the effectiveness 
     of the actions taken.
       ``(B) Removal of designation.--A country that is designated 
     as a country of particular concern for religious freedom 
     under paragraph (1)(A) shall retain such designation until 
     the President determines and reports to the appropriate 
     congressional committees that the country should no longer be 
     so designated.''; and
       (C) by adding at the end, the following new paragraph:
       ``(4) Treatment of countries on special watch list.--
       ``(A) In general.--The President shall designate as a 
     country of particular concern for religious freedom under 
     paragraph (1)(A) any country that appears on the Special 
     Watch List in more than 2 consecutive Annual Reports.
       ``(B) Exercise of waiver authority.--The President may 
     waive the application of subparagraph (A) with respect to a 
     country for up to 2 years if the President certifies to the 
     appropriate committees of Congress that--
       ``(i) the country has entered into an agreement with the 
     United States to carry out specific and credible actions to 
     improve religious freedom conditions and end religious 
     freedom violations;
       ``(ii) the country has entered into an agreement with the 
     United Nations, the European Union, or other ally of the 
     United States, to carry out specific and credible actions to 
     improve religious freedom conditions and end religious 
     freedom violations; or
       ``(iii) the waiver is in the national security interests of 
     the United States.
       ``(C) Effect on designation as country of particular 
     concern.--The presence or absence of a country from the 
     Special Watch List in any given year shall not preclude the 
     designation of such country as a country of particular 
     concern for religious freedom under paragraph (1)(A) in any 
     such year.''; and
       (2) in subsection (c)(5), in the second sentence, by 
     inserting ``and include a description of the impact of the 
     designation of such sanction or sanctions that exist in each 
     country'' after ``determines satisfy the requirements of this 
     subsection''.

[[Page H2402]]

  


     SEC. 303. REPORT TO CONGRESS.

       Section 404(a)(4)(A) of the International Religious Freedom 
     Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 6444(a)(4)(A)) is amended--
       (1) in clause (iii), by striking the period at the end and 
     inserting ``; and''; and
       (2) by adding at the end the following new clause:
       ``(iv) the impact on the advancement of United States 
     interests in democracy, human rights, and security, and a 
     description of policy tools being applied in the country, 
     including programs that target democratic stability, economic 
     growth, and counter-terrorism.''.

     SEC. 304. PRESIDENTIAL WAIVER.

       Section 407 of the International Religious Freedom Act of 
     1998 (22 U.S.C. 6447) is amended--
       (1) in subsection (a)--
       (A) by striking ``subsection (b)'' and inserting 
     ``subsection (c)''; and
       (B) by inserting ``, for a single 180-day period,'' after 
     ``may waive'';
       (2) by striking ``that--'' and all that follows and 
     inserting ``that the exercise of such waiver authority would 
     further the purposes of this Act.'';
       (3) by redesignating subsection (b) as subsection (c);
       (4) by inserting after subsection (a) the following:
       ``(b) Additional Authority.--Subject to subsection (c), the 
     President may waive, for any additional period of time after 
     the 180-day period described in subsection (a), the 
     application of any of the actions described in paragraphs (9) 
     through (15) of section 405(a) (or a commensurate action in 
     substitution thereto) with respect to a country, if the 
     President determines and so reports to the appropriate 
     congressional committees that--
       ``(1) the respective foreign government has ceased the 
     violations giving rise to the Presidential action; or
       ``(2) the exercise of such authority is important to the 
     national interests of the United States.''.
       (5) in subsection (c), by inserting ``or (b)'' after 
     ``subsection (a)''; and
       (6) by adding at the end the following new subsection:
       ``(d) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress 
     that--
       ``(1) ongoing and persistent waivers of the application of 
     any of the actions described in paragraphs (9) through (15) 
     of section 405(a) (or commensurate action in substitution 
     thereto) with respect to a country do not fulfill the 
     purposes of this Act; and
       ``(2) because the promotion of religious freedom is a 
     compelling interest of United States foreign policy, 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 case-by-case basis, 
     through the actions specified in section 405 or other 
     commensurate action in substitution thereto.''.

     SEC. 305. PUBLICATION IN THE FEDERAL REGISTER.

       Section 408(a)(1) of the International Religious Freedom 
     Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 6448(a)(1)) is amended by adding at 
     the end the following: ``Any designation of a non-state actor 
     as an entity of particular concern for religious freedom 
     under section 301 of the Frank R. Wolf International 
     Religious Freedom Act, together with, when applicable and to 
     the extent practicable, the identities of individuals 
     determined to be responsible for the violations under 
     subsection (e) of such section.''.

                TITLE IV--PROMOTION OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

     SEC. 401. ASSISTANCE FOR PROMOTING RELIGIOUS FREEDOM.

       (a) Availability of Assistance.--It is the sense of 
     Congress that for each fiscal year that begins on or after 
     the date of the enactment of this Act, the Department of 
     State should make available--
       (1) an amount equal to not less than 10 percent of the 
     amounts available in that fiscal year for the Human Rights 
     and Democracy Fund for the promotion of international 
     religious freedom and for projects to advance United States 
     interests in the protection and advancement of international 
     religious freedom, in particular, through grants to--
       (A) groups that are able to develop legal protections or 
     promote cultural and societal understanding of international 
     norms of religious freedom;
       (B) groups that seek to address and mitigate religiously 
     motivated and sectarian violence and combat violent 
     extremism; and
       (C) groups that seek to strengthen investigations, 
     reporting, and monitoring of religious freedom violations; 
     and
       (2) an amount equal to not less than 2 percent of amounts 
     available in that fiscal year for the Human Rights and 
     Democracy Fund to be made available for the establishment of 
     a Religious Freedom Defense Fund, administered by the 
     Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, to 
     provide grants for--
       (A) victims of religious freedom abuses and their families 
     to cover legal and other expenses that may arise from 
     detention, imprisonment, torture, fines, and other 
     restrictions; and
       (B) projects to help create and support training of a new 
     generation of defenders of religious freedom, including legal 
     and political advocates, and civil society projects which 
     seek to create advocacy networks, strengthen legal 
     representation, train and educate new religious freedom 
     defenders, and build the capacity of religious communities 
     and rights defenders to protect against religious freedom 
     violations, mitigate societal or sectarian violence, or 
     minimize legal or other restrictions of the right to freedom 
     of religion.
       (b) Preference.--It is the sense of Congress that, in 
     providing grants under subsection (a), the Ambassador at 
     Large for International Religious Freedom should, as 
     appropriate, give preference to projects targeting religious 
     freedom violations in countries designated as countries of 
     particular concern for religious freedom under section 
     402(b)(1) of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 
     (22 U.S.C. 6442(b)(1)) and countries included on the Special 
     Watch List described in section 102(b)(1)(F)(iii) of the 
     International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 
     6412(b)(1)(F)(iii)).
       (c) Administration and Consultations.--
       (1) Administration.--Amounts made available in accordance 
     with subsection (a) shall be administered by the Ambassador 
     at Large for International Religious Freedom.
       (2) Consultations.--In developing priorities and policies 
     for providing grants in accordance with subsection (a), 
     including priorities and policies for identification of 
     potential grantees, the Ambassador at Large for International 
     Religious Freedom shall consult with other Federal agencies, 
     including the United States Commission on International 
     Religious Freedom and, as appropriate, nongovernmental 
     organizations.

TITLE V--DESIGNATED PERSONS LIST FOR PARTICULARLY SEVERE VIOLATIONS OF 
                           RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

     SEC. 501. DESIGNATED PERSONS LIST FOR PARTICULARLY SEVERE 
                   VIOLATIONS OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM.

       Title VI of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 
     (22 U.S.C. 6471 et seq.) is amended--
       (1) by redesignating section 605 as section 606; and
       (2) by inserting after section 604 the following new 
     section:

     ``SEC. 605. DESIGNATED PERSONS LIST FOR PARTICULARLY SEVERE 
                   VIOLATIONS OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM.

       ``(a) List.--
       ``(1) In general.--The Secretary of State, in coordination 
     with the Ambassador at Large and in consultation with 
     relevant government and non-government experts, shall 
     establish and maintain a list of foreign individuals who are 
     sanctioned, through visa denials, financial sanctions, or 
     other measures, because they are responsible for ordering, 
     controlling, or otherwise directing particularly severe 
     violations of freedom religion.
       ``(2) Reference.--The list required under paragraph (1) 
     shall be known as the `Designated Persons List for 
     Particularly Severe Violations of Religious Freedom'.
       ``(b) Report.--
       ``(1) In general.--The Secretary of State shall submit to 
     the appropriate congressional committees a report that 
     contains the list required under subsection (a), including, 
     with respect to each foreign individual on the list--
       ``(A) the name of the individual and a description of the 
     particularly severe violation of religious freedom committed 
     by the individual;
       ``(B) the name of the country or other location in which 
     such violation took place; and
       ``(C) a description of the actions taken pursuant to this 
     Act or any other Act or Executive order in response to such 
     violation; and
       ``(2) Submission and updates.--The Secretary of State shall 
     submit to the appropriate congressional committees--
       ``(A) the initial report required under paragraph (1) not 
     later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this 
     section; and
       ``(B) updates to the report every 180 days thereafter and 
     as new information becomes available.
       ``(3) Form.--The report required under paragraph (1) should 
     be submitted in unclassified form but may contain a 
     classified annex.
       ``(4) Definition.--In this subsection, the term 
     `appropriate congressional committees' means--
       ``(A) the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on 
     Financial Services of the House of Representatives; and
       ``(B) the Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee 
     on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate.''.

                   TITLE VI--MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

     SEC. 601. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS.

       Title VII of the International Religious Freedom Act of 
     1998 (22 U.S.C. 6481 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end 
     the following new sections:

     ``SEC. 702. VOLUNTARY CODES OF CONDUCT FOR UNITED STATES 
                   INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION OUTSIDE THE 
                   UNITED STATES.

       ``(a) Finding.--Congress recognizes the enduring importance 
     of United States institutions of higher education worldwide 
     both for their potential for shaping positive leadership and 
     new educational models in host countries and for their 
     emphasis on teaching universally recognized rights of free 
     inquiry and academic freedom.

[[Page H2403]]

       ``(b) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that 
     United States institutions of higher education operating 
     campuses outside the United States or establishing any 
     educational entities with foreign governments, particularly 
     with or in countries the governments of which engage in or 
     tolerate severe violations of religious freedom as identified 
     in the Annual Report, should seek to adopt a voluntary code 
     of conduct for operating in such countries that should--
       ``(1) uphold the right of freedom of religion of their 
     employees and students, including the right to manifest that 
     religion peacefully as protected in international law;
       ``(2) ensure that the religious views and peaceful practice 
     of religion in no way affect, or be allowed to affect, the 
     status of a worker's or faculty member's employment or a 
     student's enrollment; and
       ``(3) make every effort in all negotiations, contracts, or 
     memoranda of understanding engaged in or constructed with a 
     foreign government to protect academic freedom and the rights 
     enshrined in the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

     ``SEC. 703. SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING NATIONAL SECURITY 
                   STRATEGY TO PROMOTE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM THROUGH 
                   UNITED STATES FOREIGN POLICY.

       ``It is the sense of Congress that--
       ``(1) the annual national security strategy report of the 
     President required by section 108 of the National Security 
     Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 3043) should promote international 
     religious freedom as a foreign policy and national security 
     priority and should articulate that promotion of the right to 
     freedom of religion is a strategy that protects other, 
     related human rights, and advances democracy outside the 
     United States, and make clear its importance to United States 
     foreign policy goals of stability, security, development, and 
     diplomacy; and
       ``(2) the national security strategy report should be a 
     guide for the strategies and activities of relevant Federal 
     agencies and inform the Department of Defense quadrennial 
     defense review under section 118 of title 10, United States 
     Code, and the Department of State Quadrennial Diplomacy and 
     Development Review.''.

     SEC. 602. CLERICAL AMENDMENTS.

       The table of contents of the International Religious 
     Freedom Act of 1998 (22 U.S.C. 6401 note) is amended--
       (1) by striking the item relating to section 605 and 
     inserting the following:

``Sec. 606. Studies on the effect of expedited removal provisions on 
              asylum claims.'';

       (2) by inserting after the item relating to section 604 the 
     following:

``Sec. 605. Designated Persons List for Particularly Severe Violations 
              of Religious Freedom.''; and

       (3) by adding at the end the following:

``Sec. 702. Voluntary codes of conduct for United States institutions 
              of higher education operating outside the United States.
``Sec. 703. Sense of Congress regarding national security strategy to 
              promote religious freedom through United States foreign 
              policy.''.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Royce) and the gentleman from New York (Mr. Engel) each 
will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.


                             General Leave

  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may 
have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to 
include any extraneous material on this bill.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from California?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, today, 18 years after enactment of the International 
Religious Freedom Act of 1998, the right to believe and practice one's 
faith remains under threat around the world.
  The threats come not just from authoritarian regimes obsessed with 
control, such as North Korea, Iran, or Vietnam, which were the focus of 
that law, but also from lethal terrorist groups.
  Two months ago this Chamber made history by declaring that the so-
called Islamic State, or ISIS, is committing genocide against religious 
and ethnic minorities. It has committed mass murder, beheadings, rape, 
torture, slavery, and the kidnapping of children, among many other 
atrocities. ISIS dynamites churches and flattens ancient monasteries, 
hoping to erase the very existence of religious groups that disagree 
with their brutal world view.
  Boko Haram in Nigeria and al Shabaab in East Africa are also 
responsible for their own deadly persecutions, both also linked to ISIS 
in their support for that terrorist movement.
  These groups have turned religious intolerance into a murderous force 
of global instability. The right to believe and practice according to 
the dictates of conscience is a direct challenge to their ideologies. 
Thus, religious freedom is not just a human rights issue; frankly, 
today, it is a global security issue. However, current law related to 
religious freedom, which focuses solely on governments of sovereign 
states, does not address this reality.
  Based on years of oversight and multiple hearings, H.R. 1150, the 
Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act, updates the 
International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to improve the coordination 
and effectiveness of U.S. efforts to promote religious liberty around 
the world and also expressly addresses the role of these non-state 
actors like ISIS.
  Introduced by Subcommittee Chairman Smith and Congresswoman Anna 
Eshoo, the bill was amended and agreed to by the Foreign Affairs 
Committee and has more than 115 bipartisan cosponsors.
  It is fitting that this bill is named in honor of our former 
colleague from Virginia, Frank Wolf, a tireless advocate for human 
rights and the author of the original International Religious Freedom 
Act of 1998, which we are amending.
  By enhancing coordination, confronting non-state actors, and 
improving reporting and training, H.R. 1150 is a helpful refinement of 
our statutory commitment to combat religious persecution around the 
globe. It deserves our unanimous support.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

                                         House of Representatives,


                              Committee on Financial Services,

                                     Washington, DC, May 13, 2016.
     Hon. Ed Royce,
     Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Chairman Royce: I am writing concerning H.R. 1150, the 
     Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act of 2016.
       As a result of your having consulted with the Committee on 
     Financial Services concerning provisions in the bill that 
     fall within our Rule X jurisdiction, I agree to forgo action 
     on the bill so that it may proceed expeditiously to the House 
     Floor. The Committee on Financial Services takes this action 
     with our mutual understanding that, by foregoing 
     consideration of H.R. 1150 at this time, we do not waive any 
     jurisdiction over the subject matter contained in this or 
     similar legislation, and that our Committee will be 
     appropriately consulted and involved as this or similar 
     legislation moves forward so that we may address any 
     remaining issues that fall within our Rule X jurisdiction. 
     Our Committee also reserves the right to seek appointment of 
     an appropriate number of conferees to any House-Senate 
     conference involving this or similar legislation, and 
     requests your support for any such request.
       Finally, I would appreciate your response to this letter 
     confirming this understanding with respect to H.R. 1150 and 
     would ask that a copy of our exchange of letters on this 
     matter be included in your committee's report to accompany 
     the legislation, as well as in the Congressional Record 
     during floor consideration thereof.
           Sincerely,
                                                   Jeb Hensarling,
     Chairman.
                                  ____

                                         House of Representatives,


                                 Committee on Foreign Affairs,

                                     Washington, DC, May 12, 2016.
     Hon. Jeb Hensarling,
     Chairman, Committee on Financial Services,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. Chairman: Thank you for consulting with the 
     Committee on Foreign Affairs on H.R. 1150, the Frank R. Wolf 
     International Religious Freedom Act, and for agreeing to be 
     discharged from further consideration of that bill.
       I agree that your forgoing further action on this measure 
     does not in any way diminish or alter the jurisdiction of the 
     Committee on Financial Services, or prejudice its 
     jurisdictional prerogatives on this bill or similar 
     legislation in the future. I would support your effort to 
     seek appointment of an appropriate number of conferees to any 
     House-Senate conference involving this legislation.
       I will seek to place our letters on H.R. 1150 into the 
     Congressional Record during floor consideration of the bill. 
     I appreciate your cooperation regarding this legislation and 
     look forward to continuing to work with your committee as 
     this measure moves through the legislative process.
           Sincerely,
                                                  Edward R. Royce,
     Chairman.
                                  ____

         House of Representatives, Committee on Oversight and 
           Government Reform,
                                     Washington, DC, May 13, 2016.
     Hon. Edward R. Royce,
     Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. Chairman: I write concerning H.R. 1150, the Frank 
     R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act of 2015. As you 
     know,

[[Page H2404]]

     the Committee on Foreign Affairs received an original 
     referral and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform 
     a secondary referral when the bill was introduced on February 
     27, 2015. I recognize and appreciate your desire to bring 
     this legislation before the House of Representatives in an 
     expeditious manner, and accordingly, the Committee on 
     Oversight and Government Reform will forego action on the 
     bill.
       The Committee takes this action with our mutual 
     understanding that by foregoing consideration of H.R. 1150 at 
     this time, we do not waive any jurisdiction over the subject 
     matter contained in this or similar legislation. Further, I 
     request your support for the appointment of conferees from 
     the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform during any 
     House-Senate conference convened on this or related 
     legislation.
       Finally, I would ask that a copy of our exchange of letters 
     on this matter be included in the bill report filed by the 
     Committee on Foreign Affairs, as well as in the Congressional 
     Record during floor consideration, to memorialize our 
     understanding
           Sincerely,
                                                   Jason Chaffetz,
     Chairman.
                                  ____

                                         House of Representatives,


                                 Committee on Foreign Affairs,

                                     Washington, DC, May 12, 2016.
     Hon. Jason Chaffetz,
     Chairman, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, 
         Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. Chairman: Thank you for consulting with the 
     Committee on Foreign Affairs on H.R. 1150, the Frank R. Wolf 
     International Religious Freedom Act, and for agreeing to be 
     discharged from further consideration of that bill.
       I agree that your forgoing further action on this measure 
     does not in any way diminish or alter the jurisdiction of the 
     Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, or prejudice 
     its jurisdictional prerogatives on this bill or similar 
     legislation in the future. I would support your effort to 
     seek appointment of an appropriate number of conferees to any 
     House-Senate conference involving this legislation.
       I will seek to place our letters on H.R. 1150 into the 
     Congressional Record during floor consideration of the bill. 
     I appreciate your cooperation regarding this legislation and 
     look forward to continuing to work with your committee as 
     this measure moves through the legislative process.
           Sincerely,
                                                  Edward R. Royce,
                                                         Chairman.

  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this measure. Let me again thank 
Chairman Ed Royce for bringing this bill forward. I also want to thank 
my friend, Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey, for his leadership 
and for authorizing this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, freedom of religion has been a bedrock principle of open 
and democratic societies for centuries. Some of the first immigrants to 
settle on American shores sailed here because they were fleeing 
religious persecution at home. This liberty is enshrined in our own 
founding documents, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and 
in the charters of democracies all over the world.
  The freedom to worship as a person chooses or not to worship at all 
should be settled business and nobody's business but the person 
themselves. Yet, around the world religious communities endure 
discrimination, persecution, and violence.
  It is amazing to me that, when we look at the history of strife and 
war that has swirled around religious persecution, governments continue 
to deny this freedom to their own people. This assault on religious 
liberty holds societies back and undercuts progress. It obviously has 
no place in the 21st century.
  So for the United States and other countries that cherish freedom, it 
is not enough just to guarantee religious liberty to our own people. We 
need to speak out and act when we see this right under attack around 
the world. For that matter, we have a responsibility to speak out when 
we see any liberty under attack, whether freedom of the press, the 
right to organize, or the equality of LGBT persons.
  Mr. Smith's legislation would help ensure that promoting and 
supporting religious liberty are a component of American foreign 
policy. It would help ensure that our diplomats around the world 
understand the importance of this issue and are working to advance this 
freedom on the front lines.
  It is worth noting that we should also continue to fully fund the 
State Department's Human Rights and Democracy Fund, which helps address 
a range of human rights abuses around the world, including threats to 
our religious freedom. Together with this legislation, it sends a clear 
message to the world that protecting human rights is a priority for the 
United States.
  So I support this measure. I urge my colleagues to do the same. I 
again want to congratulate my friend Mr. Smith, who is so strong on 
issues like this and so forceful in pushing forward all the way until 
we finally got this on the floor of the House.
  I urge my colleagues to support this measure.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 10 minutes to the gentleman from New 
Jersey (Mr. Smith), chairman of the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on 
Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International 
Organizations, and the author of the bill.
  Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my good friend, 
Chairman Royce, for his leadership on this bill, the markup, and for 
the very timely recommendations he and staff made to improve it.
  I would like to thank Eliot Engel again for working hand in glove in 
a good, bipartisan effort to protect international religious freedom.
  As my good friend, Chairman Royce, noted a moment ago, 18 years ago 
Congress had the foresight to pass the International Religious Freedom 
Act of 1998. That landmark bill, authored by Congressman Frank Wolf of 
Virginia, made advancing the right to religious freedom a significant 
and profoundly serious U.S. foreign policy priority.
  Passage of the International Religious Freedom Act was not easy. 
There were determined opponents in Congress and in the Clinton 
administration. I know. I chaired the congressional hearings and the 
subcommittee markup. It was no cakewalk.
  But our opposition was overcome by the courage, tenacity, and vision 
of Frank Wolf, bolstered by a diverse, bipartisan, and ecumenical 
coalition of Members of Congress, ethnic minority and religions groups, 
and human rights organizations. That coalition has reassembled to 
support this bill today, the Frank R. Wolf International Religious 
Freedom Act.
  I want to especially thank Anna Eshoo, who is the principal 
Democratic sponsor of this legislation, for her leadership and for 
working particularly in the Middle East to combat the savagery that is 
being imposed upon people of minority faiths, including Christians.

                              {time}  1700

  I thank her for her leadership and, again, for being the principal 
Democrat on this bill.
  Let me just note that naming this bill after Frank Wolf, who I 
consider to be, and many of us consider to be the William Wilberforce 
of modern times, is an attempt to recognize his extraordinary life's 
work promoting human rights, 34 years as a Member of Congress, 
including, and especially, religious freedom.
  He now serves as the Wilson Chair at Baylor, again, continuing his 
lifesaving work for religious believers all over the world.
  He just returned from Nigeria and testified at our hearing last week. 
He was in the embattled states in northern Nigeria, where Boko Haram 
runs free, massacring people. He was there on a fact-finding mission to 
promote religious freedom.
  Mr. Speaker, the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act 
that is before us is a series of upgrades to meet the challenges of the 
21st century.
  We know that the world is experiencing an unprecedented crisis of 
international religious freedom; a crisis that continues to create 
millions--no, tens of millions of victims; a crisis that undermines 
liberty, prosperity, and peace; a crisis that poses a direct challenge 
to the U.S. interests in the Middle East, Russia, China, Sub-Saharan 
Africa, and elsewhere in the world.
  The Pew Research Center notes that over 75 percent of the world's 
population today lives in countries where severe religious freedom 
abuses occur annually. According to Pew, instances of anti-Semitism are 
at a 7-year high. It is getting worse everywhere, particularly in the 
Middle East, but also in Europe and in the United States.
  Mr. Speaker, ancient Christian communities in Iraq and Syria are on 
the verge of extinction, and other religious minorities in the Middle 
East face a

[[Page H2405]]

constant assault from the Islamic State.
  Several weeks ago, this Congress passed a resolution, sponsored by 
Jeff Fortenberry, that was followed by a declaration by Secretary of 
State John Kerry, that said that ISIS has committed, and continues to 
commit genocide, mass atrocities and war crimes against Christians, 
Yazidis, and other minority faiths.
  We are on record. We know it is happening. We are speaking out.
  In a couple of weeks, I am chairing a hearing on what is next; what 
should we be doing next to combat this terrible, terrible crisis.
  In Nigeria, the Islamist terror group, Boko Haram, is believed to 
have killed over 6,600 people last year alone, mostly Christian, but 
there are Muslims as well who are being targeted. According to the 
testimony we received last week, since 2009, the number is about 15,000 
year to date since 2009.
  Mr. Speaker, at one of those hearings a few years ago, I had a man 
named Habila. Habila, I met him at an IDP camp in Jos, Nigeria, where a 
lot of churches have been firebombed. He told me this story. He was 
credible, and it checked out. And he came to Congress and testified.
  Boko Haram put an AK-47--a terrorist--to his jaw and said: Renounce 
Christ or I will kill you. You must become a Muslim on the spot.
  Habila said: I am ready to meet my Lord.
  And this terrorist pulled the trigger and blew most of his face away.
  What courage, what faith for a man. And when he told the story, you 
could have heard a pin drop.
  Mr. Speaker, the bipartisan U.S. Commission on International 
Religious Freedom just released its 2016 annual report. And let me 
note, parenthetically, USCIRF, or that Commission, was also created by 
Chairman Wolf as part of IRFA, the original bill.
  They have found that the abuses committed by governments and non-
state actors has ``deteriorated.'' ``The incarceration of prisoners of 
conscience''--they point out--``remains astonishingly widespread . . 
.''
  They point out that ``Over the past year, the Chinese government''--
as just one of many examples--``has stepped up its persecution of 
religious groups''--across the board: Tibetans, Uighurs, Muslim 
Uighurs, Christians, and, of course, the Falun Gong.
  I spoke in mid-February at NYU, I gave a keynote there in Shanghai, 
and talked about how Xi Jinping, the President of China, is in a race 
to the bottom with North Korea to make religion absolutely subservient 
to the Communist Party. He calls it the sinification of religion; and 
what was already a bad situation has now become demonstrably worse.
  The Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act will upgrade 
the tools so that this administration, and subsequent ones, can do an 
even better job to try to mitigate and, hopefully, end religious 
persecution. It does this by, one, requiring that international 
religious freedom policies be integrated into national security, 
immigration, rule of law, and other relevant U.S. foreign policies.
  It creates a Designated Persons List of individuals sanctioned for 
participating in or directing religious freedom abuses.
  It expands diplomatic training on international religious freedoms 
for all State Department diplomats; creates a tier system for IRFA, for 
the reports, not just countries of particular concern, of which there 
are currently 10, but also those that are on a watch list, those that 
are bad and, perhaps, getting worse.
  It gives the President authority to designate non-state actors in 
addition to countries; and it also requires the Ambassador at Large to 
report directly to the Secretary of State.
  It also is increasingly clear that religious freedom diplomacy is 
really needed to advance U.S. interests around the world. This will do 
it.
  The legislation is backed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops 
and the International Religious Freedom Roundtable, a diverse and 
ecumenical group of individuals from the faith community.
  Finally, just let me thank Scott Flipse, who worked for Frank Wolf 
previously, then he worked for the International Religious Freedom 
Office at the State Department, and now is working at the China 
Commission; our General Counsel, Piero Tozzi; Janice Kaguyutan, I thank 
her for her work on this; and Sajit Gandhi. This is a true, bipartisan 
piece of legislation and, hopefully, the Senate will favorably receive 
it.
  Mr. ENGEL. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the balance of my time.
  Again, Mr. Speaker, in closing, we focus on human rights as part of 
our foreign policy because it is the right thing to do. The United 
States is founded on the idea that an individual should be able to live 
according to his or her own beliefs. That is a value we want to see 
thriving around the world.
  Advancing human rights is also the smart thing to do. Countries with 
a strong respect for human rights are countries that prosper and play a 
constructive role on the global stage.
  I want to again say to my friend, the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. 
Smith), when he comes for advancing human rights, he takes a second 
seat to nobody. He is indefatigable when it comes to these things. In 
all the years I have known him, he has always been fair and honest. I 
really sincerely commend him, and know how heartfelt it is and how much 
we appreciate his hard work.
  When we see governments stifling religious freedom, or any freedom, 
we have a responsibility to speak out and make it clear that the United 
States remains a champion for these basic liberties. This bill helps us 
to live up to that responsibility, and I am proud to support it.
  I thank Chairman Royce and Mr. Smith.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Virginia (Mrs. Comstock), our esteemed colleague, who ably represents 
the district formerly served by Frank Wolf, who is honored in the title 
of this bill. Representative Barbara Comstock is a coauthor of this 
bill with Mr. Smith, and I thank them both.
  Mrs. COMSTOCK. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, ask human rights and religious freedom advocates to name 
their most steadfast friend who has served on Capitol Hill over the 
years, and Representative Frank Wolf, my predecessor, is always on the 
short list, as are my colleagues here today.
  So I am honored today to stand in support of a bill I proudly 
cosponsored, the Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act, 
named after the distinguished gentleman who served in this seat for the 
10th District of Virginia, and as the co-chair of the Congressional 
Human Rights Caucus, and a man whose deep faith and commitment to human 
rights and religion freedom were a large part of why he was known for 
years here and around the country, and even around the world, as the 
conscience of the Congress.
  He wrote a book, a powerful book, titled a ``Prisoner of 
Conscience,'' about his many trips over the years and how he fought for 
religious freedom; and I hope he doesn't mind if I recommend that book 
to our listeners here.
  We continue to be blessed with Congressman Wolf's passionate 
leadership as he leads the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative to 
create a world where religious freedom is recognized by nations across 
the globe as a fundamental human right.
  Since leaving Congress, Mr. Wolf has continued to travel to the front 
lines to see, firsthand, the plight of ethnic minorities in Iraq and 
Syria, including Christians, Yazidis, Kurds, and other minority 
religious groups.
  As previously mentioned, he has just returned from Nigeria. He 
continues to shine a light every day on the dark places where men and 
women and children, even, of faith are victimized, tortured and, 
tragically, even killed for their faith. He will not let the world look 
away, and we thank him for his continued work and his strong and much-
needed voice.
  Now this legislation amends his own legislation to continue that 
mission that Mr. Wolf so valiantly fought for for 3 decades here in 
Congress. It will improve the ability of the United States to advance 
religious freedom globally, with stronger and more flexible political 
responses to a disturbing and growing denial of basic religious 
freedoms around the world.

[[Page H2406]]

  As has been said by many, Frank Wolf is the William Wilberforce of 
our day. He is, and has always been, a voice for the voiceless. He once 
said: ``Most would agree that conscience rights figure prominently in 
the narrative of America's founding. Historically, Americans and our 
corresponding institutions have recognized that conscience is not 
ultimately allegiant to the state, but to something, and for many 
people, Someone, higher.''
  I appreciate the opportunity today to continue that legacy with the 
passing of this important legislation which will continue his important 
and vital mission and legacy; and that is needed now, more than ever, 
for so many of the reasons that my colleagues here have highlighted.
  I thank the gentleman so much for the privilege of addressing and 
cosponsoring this legislation.
  Mr. ROYCE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleagues for their contributions to 
this bill and to today's debate, especially Mr. Smith, Congresswoman 
Barbara Comstock and Mr. Engel.
  The right to believe and practice one's religion according to the 
dictates of conscience is often called the first freedom. It is one of 
the founding ideas of our Nation, but we do not believe that it is only 
an American value. Rather, this is what we believe here. We believe it 
flows from the inherent dignity of every human person, and it deserves 
protection everywhere.
  In today's world, those who are most violently opposed to religious 
freedom also pose the biggest threat to our Nation. They also pose the 
biggest threat to civilization worldwide.
  Thus, the promotion of religious liberty is not some isolated human 
rights concern. No. It is a key component of our national security. And 
this bill, now authored by Mr. Smith, H.R. 1150, contains important 
updates to the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 that will 
enhance the effectiveness of the United States' efforts to promote that 
liberty around the world, so it deserves our unanimous support.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 1150, 
amending the Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Act.
  I support this measure because the right to freedom of religion has 
been a cornerstone of the American conscience.
  Many of our country's first leaders fled religious persecution abroad 
and went on to establish laws protecting religious freedom.
  This core belief of our great nation does not stop at our national 
borders; we offer refuge to those suffering from religious persecution 
throughout the world.
  A testament to this commitment was the International Religious 
Freedom Act of 1998 which was a landmark piece of legislation seeking 
to make religious freedom a higher priority in U.S. Foreign policy.
  The Act was approved by Congress unanimously in 1998 and signed into 
law by President Clinton.
  The Act condemns violations of religious freedom and promotes and 
assists other governments in the promotion of the fundamental right to 
freedom of religion.
  While strides have been made in establishing worldwide practice of 
freedom of religion, it is currently under attack.
  Let me also note that people are being prosecuted under blasphemy 
laws for freedom of expression, which is why I introduced the 
bipartisan measure H. Res. 290, calling for the global repeal of 
blasphemy laws.
  I support H.R. 1150 because we must continue to work to preserve 
religious freedoms as well as making sure that religion is not a 
pretext for prosecution or persecution in the world.
  Indeed, one of the key amendments to IRFA would be to relocate the 
Office of International Religious Freedom within the Office of the 
Secretary of State.
  This action would allow for greater coordination of strategic focus 
and the minimization of duplicated efforts, streamline mandates, and 
centralize efforts to engage religious communities and promote human 
rights more generally in regards to religious freedom.
  Currently, the office is headed by the Ambassador at-Large for 
International Religious Freedom which monitors religious persecution 
and discrimination worldwide to develop policy recommendations, 
programs, and awareness.
  Besides being placed in the Secretary of State's office, the 
Ambassador at large would be able to make every effort to collaborate 
and coordinate across all U.S. agencies and departments to formulate 
strategic religious freedom policies, programs, and activities.
  These two changes will provide a greater ability for us to advance 
religious freedom throughout the world.
  H.R. 1150 will also allow us to assist emerging democracies to 
implement freedom of religion while also helping older partners 
maintain their freedom of religion practices and conscience.
  H.R. 1150 calls to ensure that our diplomats and foreign policy 
experts are well versed in the importance of religious freedom and how 
to address atrocities related to religion.
  H.R. 1150 also addresses how to improve our ability to promote 
freedom of religion by enhancing the capabilities and knowledge of our 
diplomats.
  Our Foreign Service Officers (FSO) are on the front lines everyday 
carrying out American foreign policy while also shaping it, which makes 
sure that they are adequately trained on religious freedom.
  H.R. 1150 directs the Secretary to develop mandatory religious 
freedom training for all Foreign Service Officers.
  This major change will enhance FSO capabilities to identify severe 
persecutors to help assemble the Ambassador's Annual Report on 
International Religious Freedom.
  In addition to the Annual Report, H.R. 1150 calls for an updated 
lists of persons that are currently being persecuted and forced to 
renounce their faith.
  This is essential in bringing awareness to countries that need to be 
monitored or that have non-state actors that have high levels of 
detainment, disappearance, torture, or murder based on someone's 
religion.
  Another key aspect of H.R. 1150 is to enhance engagement and 
coordination with the executive branch on issues pertaining to 
international religious freedom policies and global religion engagement 
strategies.
  This would be achieved through amendment of The National Security Act 
of 1947, calling for the appointment of a Special Adviser for Global 
Religious Engagement and establishing the Interagency Policy Committee 
on Religious Freedom and Engagement.
  Mr. Speaker, I urge all Members to support adequate funding in order 
to enable rapid and decisive efforts of supporting democracy and 
preservation of human rights.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Smith of Nebraska). The question is on 
the motion offered by the gentleman from California (Mr. Royce) that 
the House suspend the rules and pass the bill, H.R. 1150, as amended.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill, as amended, was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

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