Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen writes for National Review Online: Earlier this year, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its 15th annual report on the status of religious freedom around the world. USCIRF’s report reaffirms what we’ve known for years: The plight of religious minorities around the world is troubling, and in many places — such as the Middle East — it is getting worse. Three weeks ago I held a congressional hearing to examine the situation of human rights in Iran and highlight the plight of religious minorities there, despite the false promises of moderation made by Hassan Rouhani. The fact is that throughout the Middle East, and particularly in Iran, Egypt, Iraq, and Syria, there is widespread persecution of religious minorities, especially Christians. If we want to see a stable and secure Middle East, we must first ensure that the fundamental human rights of all people are being respected, and that includes the right to profess and practice one’s faith freely and openly without fear of persecution. If democracy is ever going to take hold in the region, then the rights of minority communities must be respected. Recent years have proven that elections alone do not make a democracy, and it is equally true that you cannot have a democracy without respect for human rights. Read the rest of the article here.


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