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ICC Note: Robert George, a “leading Catholic public intellectual” has been elected as the new chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, or USCIRF. The Commission works to hold nations around the world “accountable” for their treatment of religious minorities, including Christians. The new chairman says he is committed to continuing that mission and making religious freedom a higher priority for U.S. foreign policy. 
7/25/2013 United States (NCRegister) – Robert George, a Princeton professor of jurisprudence and a leading Catholic public intellectual, was elected as the new chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
The commission’s outgoing chair, Katrina Lantos Swett, announced George’s appointment July 23.
“Our bipartisan commission is united in its admiration for professor George’s skills as an advocate and leader of the international religious-freedom movement. The commission is eager to continue its work under his able leadership,” said Lantos Swett.
The news underscores George’s striking influence on Washington policy debates, spanning global human-rights issues as well as marriage and pro-life advocacy.
But his appointment also came amid growing frustration with Washington’s failure to effectively address religious-freedom issues around the globe.
“We are very concerned about the plight of Christians in the Middle East. The community has been victimized, and many have left as refugees, flooding out of Iraq and Syria,” George told the Register during a July 24 interview.
“We are worried about oppression of Jews in Yemen and Iran, and there are places where the rights of Muslims are violated.”
George added that the commission would continue to scrutinize emerging religious-freedom issues in Europe.
“We are worried about how secularist governments are treating religious believers,” he said, noting controversial laws dealing with the Muslim headscarf and the practice of Jewish circumcision. “We are not just looking at the Arab world or Africa and Asia.”

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