Washington D.C. — July 13-15, 2021

Congressional Advocacy

Take part in our Congressional Advocacy Week which will culminate with the  “In Solidarity with the Persecuted” Side Event on Capitol Hill.

Congressional Advocacy Week

July 6-13, 2021

In the week leading up to the IRF Summit, we will convene a special week dedicated to advocacy and activism on Capitol Hill.  We request all convening organizations to schedule appointments on Capitol Hill during Advocacy Week, either virtually or in person, around issues affecting their respective causes.  Each convening organization is encouraged to organize their own appointments and meetings and to set whatever agenda for those meetings they feel appropriate relating to their own community.  Separate from that agenda, we request ask each convening organization to share the following points affecting the broader international religious freedom community.  

1) Mentioning the IRF Summit event and its objectives; 

2) Encouraging the Biden Administration to put forth a nominee for the position of Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom; 

3) Encouraging members of Congress and staff to attend the “In Solidarity with the Persecuted” side event on July 13 (Rayburn Foyer, 5 pm); 

4) Encouraging members of Congress to join the International Religious Freedom Caucus; and, 

5) Highlight the plight of religious prisoners of conscience (POC) worldwide and raise the case of a POC/POCs for whom your organization is advocating, seeking the Member of Congress’s advocacy on their behalf. (If your organization has not yet selected a prisoner, information about specific prisoners can be found on the Defending Freedoms Project site of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission or the Religious Prisoners of Conscience site of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom). 

We encourage all in-person meetings to be held on July 13.  That day, a special kick-off breakfast will be held at 8 am at the Belmont House across from Capitol Hill (314 Independence Avenue, SE).

“In Solidarity with the Persecuted” Side Event

July 13, 2021, 5pm

Rayburn Foyer

To mark the IRF Summit—and as a culmination of Congressional Advocacy Week—we will hold a short program on Capitol Hill that will feature 2-3-minute testimonials of international religious freedom community leaders representing persecuted faith communities speaking on behalf of each other.  The objective will be to speak about another community to show solidarity and compassion with that community’s plight.  By the end of the testimonials, we hope to draw out a unifying theme that will be both unique and powerful: the persecuted stand with the persecuted on Capitol Hill, united in their strong belief in international religious freedom for all.  When anyone persecuted community suffers, we all suffer.  

The side event will feature remarks and observations by Co-Chairs Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett and Sam Brownback and the Congressional Co-Chairs of the IRF Summit (U.S. Senator James Lankford, U.S. Senator Chris Coons, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, and U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar).