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5/22/2024 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) announced the appointment of three new commissioners on May 17. 

The International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRFA) created USCIRF as an independent, bipartisan commission to make expert recommendations to the State Department regarding its actions relating to IRF. 

According to IRFA, the president, the Senate majority and minority leaders, and the House minority and majority leaders will each appoint three members of USCIRF. Each Commissioner is eligible for up to two two-year terms. 

On May 14, the terms of six USCIRF Commissioners, including Abraham Cooper, David Curry, Frederick Davie, Mohamed Magid, Nury Turkel, and Frank Wolf, ended. Because of their departures, Mike Johnson, speaker of the House of Representatives, appointed Maureen Ferguson and Vicky Hartzler to the commission. House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries appointed Asif Mahmood, President Joe Biden reappointed Stephen Schneck, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reappointed Eric Ueland. Susie Gelman’s term as commissioner is valid through May 2025. 

“The additions of Ferguson, Hartzler, and Mahmood are valuable to the commission,” an International Christian Concern (ICC) staffer said. “International Christian Concern is particularly encouraged to see the appointments of Ferguson and Hartzler, who each have vast experience working with Christian and Catholic persecution. They will help provide a more diverse set of commissioners through as women and help reinstate the valuable knowledge of Congress through Hartzler’s experience as a Representative of Missouri.” 

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