Lawmaker Presses WH on Religious Persecution

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An American congressman wants the U.S. to help protect religious minorities in the Middle East and South Central Asia.

Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., has introduced legislation calling for the creation of a special envoy at the U.S. State Department.

Wolf said the attacks against religious minorities are increasing, especially in Egypt and Iraq. He added that the U.S. has an obligation to intercede, especially among allies receiving billions in U.S. aid.

Wolf criticized the White House for its lack of response to the violence.

"The White House failed to even mention the word 'Christian' or 'church,' suggesting that this attack was simply part of a broader pattern of generalized violence in Iraq and not a targeted attack against an indigenous faith community," Wolf said in reference to the Oct. 31 attack on Our Lady of Salvation Catholic Church in Baghdad in which 58 Christians were killed.

Wolfe said his legislation has a strong following among Democrats and that protecting religious freedom is a bipartisan issue.

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