FRC's Tony Perkins Urges for Meriam Ibrahim's Release in Testimony before House Subcommittee

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins testified today before the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations regarding the case of Meriam Ibrahim.

Perkins made the following remarks in his testimony:

"While other governments have called attention to Meriam's situation, including the European Parliament passing a resolution and the British Government's Prime Minister speaking publically, the U.S. government has been practically mute-even after multiple activist groups have initiated petitions with hundreds of thousands of signatures.

"The U.S. government's disinterest in the plight of an American and his family is simply indefensible. Religious freedom is a fundamental, inherent, and international human right. It is a core American ideal, but its defense should not be limited to America.

"The U.S. and this Committee must seriously make human rights and religious freedom a central component of U.S. international aid contributions.

"The Obama Administration has consistently failed to place international religious freedom at the core of our diplomatic efforts. For almost the past year, the Administration has refused to appoint the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, a position established by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. This Administration believes religious belief should be quarantined to private spaces and excluded from the public square.

"The U.S. government should immediately and fully intervene in Meriam's situation to ensure that she is protected. We also urge that Congress pass H. Res. 601, which condemns the treatment of Meriam Ibrahim and seeks to pressure the Administration to act in accordance with America's responsibility to be a strong advocate for religious freedom generally and Meriam specifically," concluded Perkins.

Nearly 53,000 people signed a petition launched by FRC asking President Obama to grant her expedited safe haven in the United States.