FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ICC Mourns Loss of Human Rights Champion Tom Lantos
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(February 11, 2008) The Washington-DC based human rights group, International Christian Concern (ICC) www.www.persecution.org has just learned that Rep. Tom Lantos of California, the only Holocaust survivor to ever serve in the US Congress, has died.
Last month Rep. Lantos, who was 80, made public that he had been diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus. He passed away this morning at the Bethesda Naval Medical Center in suburban Maryland.
The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Lantos was one of the first Congressmen to champion the cause of human rights in the US Government. He was first elected to Congress in 1980, and in 1983 founded the bipartisan Congressional Human Rights Caucus, serving as its co-chairman up to his death.
Not afraid to court controversy in his defense of human rights, Lantos was one of five Congressmen arrested for participating in a protest at the Sudanese embassy in DC against the Sudanese governments human rights abuses in Darfur. In addition, he was one of few US officials who sent a letter to Afghan President Hamid Karzai requesting safety for Christian convert Abdul Rahman, who was facing the death penalty in early 2006 for his conversion.
ICC President, Jeff King, said, We have lost one of our best champions of religious freedom. Tom Lantos was an incredible leader in the US Congress, and we will miss his aggressive defense of human rights for all the persecuted and oppressed. I want to extend my sympathy to his family, and hope and pray that we will find someone soon to take up his mantle. Men like Tom Lantos are truly few and far between.
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ICC is a Washington-DC based human rights organization that exists to help persecuted Christians worldwide. ICC provides Awareness, Advocacy, and Assistance to the worldwide persecuted Church. For additional information or for an interview, contact ICC at 800-422-5441.