June 23, 1997
Consistent with our deep and abiding commitment to the protection of individual human rights, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) holds firm to the fundamental belief that all people should be free to worship as they choose. We are very disturbed by reports of torture and other forms of persecution directed at individuals because of their religious identity. We view the recent legislative initiative — led by Senator Arlen Specter and Representative Frank Wolf -intended to enhance the United States’ role in combating persecution of religious minorities around the world, as a significant step in advancing our nation’s commitment to an issue which has not previously received the attention it deserves.
The organized Jewish community will examine the particulars of this legislation in light of our long-standing support for the strongest possible U.S. human rights effort and consistent with our commitment to seek appropriate mechanisms for effective response to religious persecution and oppression. We will continue to work in close cooperation with coalition partners of all religious faiths in responding to this legislative initiative and to combat all forms of persecution and advance the cause of human rights.