Working to promote freedom of conscience for every person, no matter who they are or where they live.

Hearing & Religious Freedom Report Roll Out

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a confirmation hearing for Dr. Susan Johnson Cook for the position of U.S. Ambassador-at- Large for International Religious Freedom today. The position has been vacant for almost two years despite the active efforts of the IRLA and other religious liberty advocates to urge the White House and State Department to make a timely appointment.

James Standish, the IRLA’s representative in Washington, attended the hearing. “It was good to finally have movement towards filling this critical post,” states Standish, “we look forward to a speedy confirmation vote and working together with Dr. Johnson Cook in her new role.”

Also today, Secretary of State Clinton held a press conference to accompany the release of the U.S. State Department’s annual international religious freedom report. “We appreciated Secretary Clinton using the press conference to emphasize the right to share one’s religion and to change religion. These essential components of religious liberty are under severe attack in many parts of the world,” states Standish. “The State Department’s report is a valuable first step in protecting religious freedom,” acknowledges Standish, “but to be effective, it must be backed up by concrete consequences for those who egregiously violate the religious freedom rights of others.”

To view Secretary Clinton’s press conference, visit (the press conference begins at the 6th minute of the video):